Week 16 is not an optimal time for Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew to miss a game due to his lingeringknee injury. Fantasy players everywhere are counting on his production. Titles are being decided these last two weeks.
But, yes, it appears Jones-Drew could finally sit because of a problem that bothered him all season.
“There was a bunch of talk about [the knee] at the beginning of the year, but it wasn’t hurt to the point that I couldn’t play on it,” Jones-Drew told the Florida Times-Union Friday. “But we knew that if I did play on it this could happen. I chose to do it. I wanted to play football and I love playing the game. This is the price you pay sometimes.”
His swollen knee prevented him from practicing all week. FoxSports.com reported that “barring a miracle” he would sit.
Jones-Drew had clicked off six consecutive 100-yard games before gaining just 46 yards on 15 carries against the Colts. RB Rashad Jennings (47 carries for 319 yards, TDs three consecutive weeks) got the reps in practice this week and is poised to fill in.
Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio prefers to sit players who didn’t practice all week, but he makes exceptions. “Some guys have earned that because you've seen them go through that and then play well,” Del Rio told the Times-Union. “If you have a history with a guy, it makes it a little easier to understand what they're capable of.”
So Drew could still talk his way into the game against Washington. “Durability was a question when I got in this league,” Jones-Drew said. “I tried everything to keep myself in the best shape possible to be able to play. It’s a goal that I’ve had. It’s tough. I’m doing everything now that I can to try and go out there and run around a little bit.”
But fantasy players should prepare their Plan B just the same.
Here are some other last-minute Week 16 story lines:
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is expected to answer the bell. “He was able to do some things and feel pretty good about the fact he’ll probably make it,” interim coach Leslie Frazier told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “I think he’ll probably make it.”
Chargers WR Malcolm Floyd has two balky hamstrings instead of one. So WR Legedu Naanee would be a good bet if you are scrounging for another starter. As noted earlier, TE Antonio Gates is out anid likely done for the season.
Cowboys RB Marion Barber could finally get some work this week. He hasn’t carried the ball since Thanksgiving, but he was back at work this week. RB Felix Jones (1,085 yards from scrimmage) missed some practice time this week but is expected to carry most of the workload.[
Jets QB Mark Sanchez expects to play despite his shoulder injury, which may include a slight cartilage tear. He closed out the practice week on a good note. “He was on point,” WR Santonio Holmes reported. “He had a couple of bad throws here and there, wasn’t trusting himself, didn’t get into the feel until midway through practice but other than that, he felt great. He threw after practice, and I think it’s all going to be fine.”