In the tidal wave of disaster that washed away the Jacksonville Jaguars' 2021 season, there were so many calamities that it was often difficult to keep count.
However, one that set an ominous tone was running back Travis Etienne's rookie season ending before it even got started.
Etienne sustained a season-ending Lisfranc injury in the preseason that called for surgery and the conclusion to any first-year promise.
Now, the former Clemson standout is immersed in rehab and is optimistic of the progress he's made thus far.
"My foot is doing much better," Etienne said on The Players Club Podcast, via Jagswire. "Really just got back into the gym for the first time and I'm squatting for the first time this past week. So that's been good and I've been running for a while now. I'm kind of getting to that 80% to 85% range. Definitely, just heading in the right direction, and as you know with this injury you have to take it day-by-day man. You can't skip no days."
Etienne was previously on schedule to be back at full-go by training camp in July and news that he's back running and in the gym keeps him on that course.
A somewhat surprising selection of the Jaguars in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft at No. 25, Etienne was set to join a Jacksonville roster that already had James Robinson in the backfield and plenty of holes elsewhere. Nonetheless, head coach Urban Meyer eyed using Etienne in a versatile role in which he would potentially line up out wide.
Etienne never played for Meyer, and now he's looking to get healthy and also learn a new offense under the guise of new head coach Doug Pederson, who, if all goes as planned, will be the first head coach Etienne plays for in an NFL regular-season game.
Another added wrinkle is that Etienne is healing up just the same as Robinson, who suffered a torn Achilles.
As the offseason gets underway, the Jags' new coaching staff has a banged-up backfield. But Etienne, after very literally getting his rookie campaign off on the wrong foot, is making progress as he strives to make a long-awaited debut.