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Wednesday, December 19, 2012
At this point, what's the point for MJD?

By Paul Kuharsky

Maurice Jones-Drew was scheduled to run today as the Jacksonville Jaguars practiced. I've seen no report on how it went, and he and coach Mike Mularkey spoke in advance of the work.

(That's why coach news conferences and open locker rooms, by rule, should take place after practices, not before.)

MJD has been out since a foot injury in Jacksonville’s sixth game. With the team at 2-12 and getting ready for the Patriots, the obvious question is why return at this stage when he’s just two weeks away from a full offseason?

“When things get tough losers tend to quit,” he told Jacksonville media today. “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. Win, lose or draw whatever the record is, but I won’t go out there and put people at risk ...

"And so today is really to make sure everything is like we thought it was the last couple of weeks and kind of validate some things we seen, and if it’s that way we’ll see how it goes throughout the week.”

He emphasized how important it would be for him to be able to handle his responsibilities in blocking and blitz pick up, to be “comfortable in certain positions.”

Mularkey classified the running back as questionable for Sunday's home finale against the Patriots.

I understand his drive to play. But the team has no real reason to put him on the field. He’s heading into his last season under contract. There could be a new front office coming in, and maybe even another new coaching staff. While they might want to show off their most valuable commodity to enhance any trade possibility, it’s not worth the risk of something going wrong. Even if it means sacrificing what could conceivably be his final game as a Jaguar at EverBank Field.

He said his eight games on the bench have given him a chance to watch and be involved in different ways, helping coach some guys.

And the healing has gone beyond his foot, the sort of rest that may add time onto the end of his career.

“Physically I’ve been able to heal up some things obviously besides my foot that I’ve had lingering the last couple years,” MJD said. “They’ve been able to get stronger and feel better, and I just feel like, obviously, I want to play.”

If he makes it back on the field, I hope it goes well for him and that he gives the Jaguars a boost. I trust no one is going to force it.