Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew said earlier this week that it was upsetting to him that people believed he couldn’t return to play football at a high level after last year’s foot injury.
General Manager David Caldwell revealed no upset about questions regarding Jones-Drew’s ability to return to full strength and productivity, but he shares the running back’s lack of concern about his ability to regain his old form. As the Jaguars closed minicamp on Thursday, Caldwell said that he was expecting the Jones-Drew of old to join the team when training camp opens up this summer.
“That’s the plan,” Caldwell said, via the team’s website. “We’ll see where that goes, where he’s at when we come back. I’m not concerned about the rust factor. He has played a lot of football in his career. I think he’ll be just fine if he comes back healthy and in shape.”
Jones-Drew doesn’t think that wear and tear will be any kind of trouble for him this season. Mark Long of the Associated Press reports that Jones-Drew feels that he’s only “23 and a half in football years” because of the time he missed last season and the timeshare with Fred Taylor early in his career.
That argument is a better fit for the contract negotiations with the Jags and others that will follow the 2013 season, but, if true, it should allow him to make a strong case for a big new contract on the field.