The Jacksonville Jaguars announced on Wednesday that star running back Maurice Jones-Drew returned to the practice field for the first time since suffering a foot injury in a Week 7 loss to the Oakland Raiders.
Even though Jones-Drew was running, the Jaguars still consider him a long-shot to play this Sunday against the New England Patriots. However, with the Jaguars at 2-12, they should not even consider putting him back on the field this season.
It became obvious for the Jaguars this season that their rushing offense does not function without a healthy Jones-Drew getting a majority of the carries. While the true nature of Jones-Drew’s injury was never revealed, with only two games left in this lost season the Jaguars have no reason to not give him a full offseason to get his foot back to health.
Perhaps making the decision to sideline him for the rest of the season more difficult, Jones-Drew made his desire to return to action before the end of the season known to the media on Wednesday.
“When things get tough losers tend to quit,” Jones-Drew said. “For me I get paid to play football, if I can go out there and be productive and help my team, I’m all for it.”
This team first attitude from Jones-Drew is a complete turn around from his contract holdout this past offseason in which he sat out the entire preseason in hopes of landing a new contract. Despite his holdout in 2012, Jones-Drew said he has no plans to miss any mandatory team activities prior to next season.
Jones-Drew will be in a contract year in 2013 and will certainly be eager to show the Jaguars and the rest of the NFL that he is still capable of being a featured back as he approaches the age of 30. His best chance to do that is if he goes into the season totally healthy and holding him out for the rest of this season gives him the best chance for that.