The Jacksonville Jaguars expect to get their star running back on Sunday.
According to multiple reports, Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew is expected to report on Sunday after missing the entire preseason due to a contract holdout.
Jones-Drew and the Jaguars had a staring contest that lasted the entire offseason, but the Jaguars refused to budge and he had no other choice but to report and play under his current contract.
Jones-Drew is scheduled to make $4.45 million in 2012 and still has two years remaining on the five-year, $31 million contract he signed prior to the 2009 season.
There is still no word as to whether the Jaguars plan on fining Jones-Drew for missing all of the preseason and training camp. The new NFL collective bargaining agreement allows the Jaguars to fine him up to $30,000 a day for every day he did not report to the team.
If the Jaguars decide to carry out the maximum fine on Jones-Drew, he will owe the team about $1.2 million.
The Jaguars still expect Rashad Jennings to be the starting running back in week one, as they are not sure what kind of shape Jones-Drew is returning to the team in. However, it would be foolish to think Jones-Drew will not touch the ball at all next Sunday when the Jaguars play the Minnesota Vikings.
Jennings impressed in the preseason and despite Jones-Drew’s return to the Jaguars has earned a role in the offense in 2012.
Both Jones-Drew and Jennings are likely to be looking for a new contract next offseason, so while the drama appears to be over for the Jaguars backfield for now I expect it to return again next offseason.