Set to return to practice this week, Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew told reporters on Wednesday that he hopes that he'll be able to play in Sunday's game against the Patriots, barring an unforeseen setback.
Jones-Drew has missed the last eight games after a foot injury in the early minutes of a Week 7 game against the Raiders forced him off the field and on to a cart headed for the locker room. Since then, the Jaguars as a team have only surpassed 100 yards rushing and not a single player has reached the mark themselves.
While Jones-Drew is optimistic about a possible return to the field, Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey seemed to doubt the idea during his Wednesday press conference. He told reporters that it would be unlikely that Jones-Drew would play if he is unable to return to practice Thursday and said that he would "be very surprised if he can run like we want him to run," according to Mark Long of the Associated Press.
The 2012 season will be Jones-Drew's first sub-1,000 yard season since assuming the starting role in 2009.