JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 01: Running back Maurice Jones-Drew #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars rushes upfield against the Indianapolis Colts January 1, 2012 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
A few days ago, we told you that Jacksonville Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey said that his team would start Rashad Jennings at running back in next Sunday's season opener against the Minnesota Vikings. That was because the team was still without 2011 NFL rushing leader Maurice Jones-Drew, who was holding out as a part of a protracted contract dispute.
On Sunday, that changed, as Jones-Drew decided to report to Jacksonville to join the team. According to reports from our friends at Big Cat Country, Jones-Drew can start practicing immediately, and the team will have a roster exemption for him until they decide it's time for him to play (as long as three weeks).
Obviously there hasn't been any word yet on how much time, if any, Jones-Drew will see in Sunday's season opener. My guess is that he'll be getting plenty of work, but it's possible he'll still have quite a bit of rust to shake off as well. Whatever the case may be, Sunday's game just got a little bit tougher for our favorite football team, it appears.