Jacksonville Jaguars star running back Maurice Jones-Drew left the team’s Thursday night victory against the rival Houston Texans with a hamstring injury, and he needed to undergo an MRI yesterday. MJD’s right hamstring injury in the fourth quarter was the only thing that soured what was a great game for him, as he reeled off 103 rushing yards on just 14 carries and also added two receptions for 20 yards. In fact, it was his best game of the season, as it was the first time all year in which the UCLA product ran for at least 100 yards.
Jones-Drew’s MRI yesterday must have turned up clean, because he believes he will be out there next week against the Buffalo Bills. He went as far as telling SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio that he will “definitely” play next week, via Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, “Definitely. Definitely. That’s always been the plan. Right now, I mean, I just want to make sure everything is on track. And then we’ll see how it goes next week but I expect to be out there playing with my teammates.”
In a contract year and with his future in flux, Jones-Drew undoubtedly feels a lot of pressure to return, though he’s probably healthy enough to play next week anyway. Despite his conviction that he’ll play, it’s worth monitoring his practice status closely, especially if you are a fantasy owner of MJD’s or interested in No. 2 running back Jordan Todman as a deep-league add.
Not only does MJD need to show his toughness to teams who would be interested in him in the offseason, but he also needs to continue to put up solid numbers. He’s struggled as of late, largely due to the circumstances around him, but he’s turned in some strong performances over the past couple of weeks. His 123-yards-from-scrimmage day against the Texans was his best of the year, and he doesn’t want a hamstring injury to ruin what could be a hot streak.