The Jaguars weren’t planning on giving running back Maurice Jones-Drew a lot of work on Sunday against the Vikings, but plans changed pretty quickly.
Rashad Jennings started for the Jags and Jones-Drew didn’t see much time on a long opening drive for Jacksonville. Jennings left with a knee injury a short time later and the Jaguars had little choice other than turning to Jones-Drew. He responded with 77 rushing yards and 18 receiving yards in a performance that didn’t leave him looking too much like a guy who just showed up for work last week.
It wasn’t enough to keep the Jags from losing 26-23 in overtime, but it did leave a good impression on coach Mike Mularkey.
“I think he did well,” Mularkey said, via Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. “I still think he has some work to do, but I was proud with how he picked up the system. I don’t remember anything blatant he missed, and I thought he ran the ball extremely well. Obviously, I was glad he was available.”
Mularkey said he didn’t think Jennings suffered a serious injury and he didn’t look bad during his brief appearance in the game, but it’s fair to wonder if that will be enough for him to hold onto the job. Jones-Drew is going to take over the lead role at some point and he showed no signs that next week would be too early to make that switch.