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Inside the Jaguars: Jones-Drew questionable this week

Posted Dec 9, 2013

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew likely to miss practice early in the week with hamstring injury

JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars are getting a few extra days between games this week.

Maurice Jones-Drew may well need that time.

Jones-Drew, the three-time Pro Bowl running back whose production has increased in recent weeks, will be questionable this week as the Jaguars begin preparing to play the Buffalo Bills, Head Coach Gus Bradley said Monday.

Jones-Drew sustained a hamstring injury in the Jaguars’ victory over Houston last Thursday.

“We just need to see how fast he progresses,” Bradley said as the Jaguars (4-9) prepared to play the Bills (4-9) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.

“We’ll keep monitoring his progress to see how he does.”

Bradley said Jones-Drew felt better Monday after time off over the weekend, but said he likely won’t practice until at least Friday. Jones-Drew told reporters earlier in the day he underwent treatment throughout the weekend and also said that he likely wouldn’t practice until Friday.

The Jaguars beat the Texans, 27-20, at EverBank Field Thursday for their third consecutive victory. Bradley said Jones-Drew could benefit from the extra three days between games.

“It’s been good, especially with him getting the treatment he did,” Bradley said. “At least we gain a couple of days here to monitor him.”

If Jones-Drew can’t play, backup Jordan Todman likely would start, with rookie Denard Robinson also getting carries.

Todman, who signed with the Jaguars off the Vikings’ practice squad last November, has shared carries at times with Jones-Drew in recent games. He has rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns this season with 76 yards and a touchdown coming in the last three weeks.

Todman also is the Jaguars’ kickoff returner, ranking seventh in the NFL with 27.6 yards per return.

Bradley said a point of emphasis for Todman will be in pass protection, particularly on third down. Jones-Drew is one of the NFL’s best pass-blocking running backs and the team has opted to play Jones-Drew in that situation even while the Todman and Jones-Drew shared time.

“I think he understands it,” Bradley said of Todman’s pass-blocking responsibilities. “Now, it’s, ‘Can he do it?’”

Robinson, a fifth-round selection by the Jaguars last April, was the backup running back for a game coming out of the bye, rushing four times for three yards at Tennessee. He has rushed for 27 yards on 17 carries this season with two fumbles.

“We’re excited about what he brings,” Bradley said of Robinson. “We’re excited about the speed he brings and we’re excited about his feel at the tailback spot. I think he just needs some time to get even more comfortable with it. Now, this week, it all gets speeded up. He’ll get some opportunities if MoJo can’t go.

“He has to have that Next-Man-Up mentality and take advantage of this opportunity. Knowing how competitive he is, he should go in there with that mindset.”

Jones-Drew, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards each season from 2009-2011, has rushed for 719 yards and five touchdowns while starting every game this season. He has rushed for 264 yards over the last three games – his largest three-game output of the season – and he rushed for a season-high 103 yards against Houston Thursday.

“Fortunately for him, he sees that there’s a chance,” Bradley said of Jones-Drew’s chances to play Sunday. “He’s been competing for us this whole year. My business with him now is, ‘Compete in the training room; get all the treatment needed for that type of injury, then let’s see what takes place.’’

The Jaguars on Monday also signed running back Delone Carter, a fourth-round selection by the Colts in the 2011 NFL Draft. Carter, who played at Syracuse, played 26 games for the Colts, rushing for 499 yards and five touchdowns on 133 career carries.

Also around the Jaguars:

*Rookie linebacker LaRoy Reynolds returned from a four-game suspension Friday, and Bradley said he reported in good physical shape. “Now, he’s got to go back there and compete to get active,” Bradley said. Reynolds, a collegiate free agent, was suspended the past four games for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances. “I’m hungry, and I’m ready to play,” Reynolds said, adding that communicated with Bradley throughout the process leading to the suspension. “He was like, ‘We’re going to work through it together.’ He said he understood what had happened and we’d look at it as a learning experience. …. I want to allow this to help me get stronger and improve as a player.”

*The Jaguars placed running back Justin Forsett (foot) and wide receiver Stephen Burton (concussion) on injured reserve Monday. One of the roster spots was used to sign Carter and the other could be used later in the week to move Reynolds to the active roster. Reynolds currently is on the roster with an exemption.

*Bradley said the Jaguars will work in pads for the first part of their practice Wednesday. “I think that’s important for us right now,” Bradley said. “We’ve had a couple of days off and at this stage of the season we need to keep that saw sharp. Just to have a chance to keep that pad level down and create some competition with one on ones, that’s what we need now.’’…

*Bradley said although the Jaguars are mathematically in contention for a playoff spot with three games remaining, he did not discuss it with the players Monday. The Jaguars would need to win their remaining three games to have a chance. Along with several other teams needing to lose one or two games, the Jaguars also need Miami and Baltimore to lose their remaining three games. “I know that’s talk for everybody else, but it doesn’t matter as long as we’re capturing every opportunity and that starts with practice,” Bradley said…

*Safeties Josh Evans (shoulder) and Chris Prosinski (concussion) are expected to practice limited on Wednesday, Bradley said Monday. Evans missed Thursday’s game against Houston after sustaining the injury at Cleveland the Sunday before; Prosinski sustained the blow to the head against Houston. “We’ll see how they do on Wednesday, then make decisions after that,” Bradley said….

*Defensive tackle Roy Miller won’t practice Wednesday. He will get a day off that day as has been the case much of the season….

This article is brought to you by TomBush.com.

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