When we’re not making timid leaps and updating expected moves up depths charts around here deep in the snail part of the offseason, we’re also fretting about lingering injuries and the possibility that they’ll continue to be very linger-y.
Those thoughts have led to many words of concern about the likes of DeMarco Murray and Trent Richardson. And now, our regularly scheduled programming returns to Maurice Jones-Drew.
Jones-Drew was the source of much frustration last summer when he missed nearly all of training camp due to a contract dispute, and crippling apprehension about his 2013 projections after accumulating several layers of rust followed. His fantasy draft value dropped, providing a shrewd bargain for some that looked pretty sweet, especially when he averaged over 5.0 yards per carry in two of his first three games, highlighted by 177 yards on 28 carries in Week 3.
But then he broke, suffering what was eventually diagnosed as a Lisfranc injury that cost him 10 games. It required surgery, and a lengthy recovery which continues now as we begin to eye MJD again early in drafts, even though he’s still not running at full speed with training camp now about six weeks away.
That’s the discouraging update The Associated Press passed along this morning, along with this rosy comment from new head coach Gus Bradley:
“It sounds like he’s making good progress and that his weight is coming down,” Bradley said. “It feels like the workouts are going good down there.”
“Down there” is Miami, where Jones-Drew is working out privately, and the weight issue ballooned (see what I did there?) when the former UCLA stud was unable to do any cardio following his surgery.
Though it is indeed discouraging that he isn’t running full out yet, he’s still within the window he projected when speaking to NFL Network recently, saying sprinting would begin in late May or early June. That makes next week’s mandatory minicamp a key test for both the Jaguars, and the rest of us.
Ultimately, this should be another case of a break which took a long time to properly heal, and Jones-Drew should still produce fine RB2 numbers in 2013. But a Lisfranc injury for a running back is no routine break, and it should be approached with caution. You’ve been warned.