JACKSONVILLE FL - JULY 30: Maurice Jones-Drew 32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first day of Training Camp at EverBank Field on July 30 2010 in Jacksonville Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew is set to miss his second preseason game this week, continuing his holdout in search of a new contract. The Jaguars have made it clear they're not going to negotiate a new deal, so it's now become a game of chicken.
As far as when Jones-Drew will return, most seem to think it will be the week before the actual 2012 NFL season begins, but that doesn't seem to necessarily mean that he'll walk right into the starting lineup.
"I think it would be a disservice to put him in if he was not fully prepared," Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey said on Tuesday." It would be a health risk to do that. If he's not prepared, it is not going to help us offensively and it's not going to help our team if he's not ready to go at full strength. I would never put our team in jeopardy of being in that position.
"We have to obviously spend extra time with him in the classroom and see where he is with his conditioning,'' Mularkey said. "Even if he is in good condition, he won't be in football condition. As guys have found out, it's hard to practice their condition 2 1/2 hours like we do out here. There's no exercises and nothing you can do to simulate an NFL practice and an NFL game. We'll just see where he is when he's back both mentally and physically."