If Maurice Jones-Drew plays this Sunday it will be his first football action since October 21.
The Jaguars running back injured his foot in that game against the Raiders. Though it was feared he could miss the rest of the season, head coach Mike Mularkey never put Jones-Drew on IR, saying in November, "We still think he has a chance to come back for a few games."
There are two games left to tack onto Jacksonville's forgettable 2-12 season. The first of those is against New England.
Though this is the first week MJD hasn't been ruled out immediately, it's hard to imagine Mularkey will put him on the field and risk any kind of setback.
The Patriots will prepare for him, anyway.
"Obviously, he's a phenomenal back for them and he's really been a workhorse for that offense," said defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. "He's a player that is very explosive and dynamic. We're talking about a guy that's extremely hard to tackle; extremely hard to make sure he's down. I know there's a lot of times where it looks like you've got him wrapped up, you've got him contained, where he's down on the ground and he's really not -- he's still driving his legs and he's still breaking tackles and squeaks through and turns a nothing play into a big play.
"I think it's really important for us to have a high awareness for a player like that when he's in the game. Obviously, tackling is critical in the essence that sometimes, behind those offensive lineman, he gets a little bit lost in there and you have to try to find him when he's hitting those holes at 100 miles an hour and trying to get through really fast."
Jones-Drew's 414 rushing yards (86 attempts) still leads the Jaguars despite his eight-week absence. It won't surprise you, then, to know Jacksonville is ranked 30th in the NFL in ground yards per game (82.4) and is dead last in attempts per game (22.3).
For perspective, last season this team was No. 4 in the NFL in rushing attempts and No. 12 in yards per game.
But Patricia played nice.
"Really, in all respects they've done a great job with the backs they've been able to put in there, certainly with Rashad Jennings and Montell Owens, in just keeping it rolling as far as running the football and keeping the offense moving with the rushing game."