JACKSONVILLE – Jaguars running back
His 2012 season was officially ending around the same time.
Jones-Drew, a three-time Pro Bowl selection who will have missed the final 10 games of the 2012 regular-season, was placed on injured reserve by the team Friday morning, and shortly thereafter he underwent surgery in Charlotte, N.C.
Jones-Drew went to see Charlotte-based orthopedic specialist Robert Anderson Thursday morning. Anderson recommended the surgery be done Friday.
“It wasn’t healing as well as we’d hoped,” Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey said Friday as the Jaguars (2-13) prepared to play the Tennessee Titans (5-10) in the 2012 regular-season finale at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday at 1 p.m.
“They recommended it, so he just stayed and is having it done today.”
Mularkey said the expectation is Jones-Drew will be ready to do football-related work by late May or early June, shortly after the beginning of the Jaguars’ off-season program April 15.
“He can’t be back until April 15 anyhow, so I don’t think it’s significant that we’re doing it now,” Mularkey said.
Jones-Drew, a Pro Bowl selection the past three seasons and the NFL’s leading rusher a year ago, sustained a sprained foot in an October 17 loss to the Oakland Raiders. He did not play again this season.
“There are a couple of ways you can let it heal,” Mularkey said. “It can heal with time. Some guys heal faster. We obviously gave it enough time to see if he can come back.”
Mularkey declined to discuss specifics of the surgery, saying “There’s just some space in his foot that they want to keep it healing on its own.”
“It was something they hoped would naturally grow back,” Mularkey said. “It didn’t, so they’re just going to hold it in place.”
Throughout the last month of the season, Mularkey said there was hope that Jones-Drew could return.
“There were some signs, especially when he started to run the last couple of weeks, that he might have a chance,” Mularkey said. “We all felt that he had a chance to play all the way up until this week.”
Jones-Drew, despite starting just five games this season, leads the team in rushing with 414 yards and a touchdown on 86 carries. The Jaguars since his absence have started three running backs –
Owens has started the last three games, rushing for 209 yards and a touchdown on 42 carries, and he is expected to start Sunday against Tennessee.
“He’s already signed up for classes,” Mularkey said. “We’re going to set up a place out there for him to rehab. We’ll have contacts out there with him. We’re comfortable with that. I admire him doing that.”
Also around the Jaguars Friday:
*The Jaguars went through their final full practice of the season, and Mularkey said he was pleased with the day and the entire week of preparation. “I told them, ‘Let’s not be in this position next year when we’re talking about this time of the year,’’’ Mularkey said. “The environment around here the last few days has been outstanding. We talk about fast Fridays and today was a fast Friday.”
*Mularkey confirmed that defensive line coach Joe Cullen turned down the defensive coordinator position at Boston College last month, opting to remain with the Jaguars. “I’m not surprised by Joe (staying),” Mularkey said. “He’s dedicated to what he’s doing. He thinks we’re close. I’m sure it was a tough decision.” Mularkey said to his knowledge Cullen and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker are the only two assistants on staff who have had discussions with college programs in the last month. Tucker interviewed for the Wisconsin head coaching position earlier this month.