Another week in the NFL, another batch of prolific backs go down with assorted injuries. It is widely known that Adrian Peterson’s mid-foot sprain is possibly season-ending, but Maurice Jones-Drew’s hamstring injury may be just as concerning for fantasy owners. At age 28, MJD is officially an “aging” running back, and older backs are notoriously slow to come back from soft tissue injuries. Earlier in the year, Brandon Jacobs missed three weeks with a “mild” hamstring strain. It’s a tricky injury.
Jones-Drew’s injury was a particularly bitter pill for his fantasy owners, because Week 14 was the first week in which he eclipsed 100 yards all season. Moreover, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ entire offense has been more effectively lately. MJD’s recent three-week game log looks like this:
Week 12 @ Houston: 84 yards, one touchdown, 26 PPR fantasy points
Week 13 @ Cleveland: 77 yards, 15 PPR fantasy points
Week 14 vs Houston: 103 yards, 14 PPR fantasy points
He went down just as he was getting on a roll.
If MJD can’t go, who will carry the mail for the Jaguars this Sunday? Jordan Todman. Does he possess the ability to take advantage of this career-making opportunity? Absolutely.
Though he was released by the San Diego Chargers before signing with the Jaguars, there is a lot to like. In his final two seasons at the University of Connecticut, Todman averaged 14 touchdowns, 20 receptions and a 5.1 yards per carry. He was a seriously productive college running back.
When he arrived in the NFL, he suffered through a rash of injuries that prevented him from making a splash in 2012. This year, he is healthy and flashing a low-pad level and good feet on interior runs. He has also demonstrated the ability to quickly bounce outside and burst through tight seams. He needs to learn to be more patient and better time his acceleration, but the game is starting to slow down for him.
The most impressive achievement on his resume is his eight-carry, 105-yard performance in the Jaguars’ third preseason contest. While preseason production is discounted, he grabbed fantasy players’ attention by showing off suddenness and burst translating his 4.40 40-yard-dash Combine performance onto the field. It is intriguing to think about what Todman would do if he received 20-plus carries vs. the Bills on Sunday.
Maurice Jones-Drew wants to play this week, but history suggests that it is unlikely. Stash Todman before another owner does.