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Maurice Jones-Drew will be third-down back in Week One

Maurice Jones-Drew

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew speaks during an NFL football news conference, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jones-Drew ended his 38-day holdout on Sunday by arriving at the team’s facility despite a lack of a new contract. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Self)


Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew is going to play against the Vikings.

He won’t be starting, though. Rashard Jennings will remain in that role for the Jaguars while Jones-Drew takes on a third-down back in the first game of the season. That was the word from coach Mike Mularkey on Monday, the first day that Jones-Drew practiced with the team. Drew took between 10-15 snaps during the session and Mularkey said that the team would have a better idea later in the week just how many reps they’ll expect from the tailback. The question is one of physical preparedness.

“His body has to get back in condition to taking the hits,” said Mularkey, via Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union. “I didn’t see anything mentally that slowed him down.”

While the rest of us try to sort out who won and who lost in the dispute between Jones-Drew and the team, the focus in Jacksonville should only be on making sure the Jaguars win as much as possible going forward. Having Jones-Drew back in the offense, in whatever amount, is a pretty good way for them to go about doing that.