Last year we got a glimpse of just how bad the Jacksonville Jaguars rushing game could be with Maurice Jones-Drew on the sidelines. Fortunately for the Jaguars, it appears everything is on track for him to be healthy for the start of the 2013 season.
Jones-Drew, who had surgery on his injured foot back in December, is scheduled to take the protective boot off later this week which will allow him to begin his rehab process.
The 2012 season was sort of doomed from the start for Jones-Drew. He missed the entire offseason and preseason as he was embroiled in a contract holdout that went all the way until Labor Day weekend. Jones-Drew was productive when he was on the field, but missed the final 10 games of the season after a defender landed awkwardly on his foot early in a game against the Oakland Raiders.
Despite playing in only six games in 2012, Jones-Drew still led the Jaguars in rushing yards with 414. Without Jones-Drew in the backfield, the Jaguars plummeted to the bottom of the NFL in rushing averaging only 85.6 yards per game on the ground.
Given the turmoil Jones-Drew created last offseason coupled with the fact that he is entering the last year of his contract, he has a lot to prove in the upcoming season. Most important for Jones-Drew, if he wants to score one last big payday during his playing career, he needs to prove this year that he is still capable of carrying the load and can still be an effective runner.
Having a motivated and healthy Jones-Drew in the backfield is going to go a long way towards improving the Jaguars offense in 2013.