Viking fans might be seeing a lot of Rashad Jennings in the 2012 season opener. . .and not very much of star running back Maurice Jones-Drew. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
In a bit of an interesting development, new Jaguars' head coach (and former Vikings tight end) Mike Mularkey made the announcement on Tuesday that the Jags would start Rashad Jennings at running back when the team travels to Minnesota to start the season. That's because Maurice Jones-Drew, who led the NFL in rushing last season, is still holding out in the hopes of getting a new contract done.
Jones-Drew's situation is a bit like that of Percy Harvin, in that MJD wants a new deal despite the fact that he still has two years remaining on his contract. Unlike Harvin, however, Jones-Drew has already gotten one big payday in his career, having signed an extension prior to the 2009 season that gave him a little more than $17 million in guaranteed money. Harvin is still working off of his rookie deal.
This pre-season, Jennings has actually played quite well for the Jaguars, as he's third in the NFL in rushing yardage (175) through three pre-season contests, and is averaging a robust 4.9 yards per carry. However, and this is said with no disrespect to Rashad Jennings, it's not weird to think that this game should become markedly easier for the Vikings if #32 in teal feels the need to continue not showing up for Jacksonville.