Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 9/7/12
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With Week 1 of the NFL season already upon us, two of the league’s top runners are facing an uphill battle to get back into shape. Maurice Jones-Drew missed all of Jaguars training camp while holding out for a new deal, but he returned over the weekend without one. Adrian Peterson has been trying to make a rapid recovery from major knee surgery. While the Jaguars stood strong and refused to give Jones-Drew a new deal, it’s clear that Peterson feels the team was playing with fire in doing so.

“Look at Jones-Drew,” Peterson said according to 1500ESPN.com. “He was their whole offense last year. So, without him, the Jaguars would have been terrible just to be honest.”

Jones-Drew was the NFL’s leading rusher last season, and Peterson credited him with keeping Jacksonville from being worse than 5-11 — which isn’t exactly an amazing accomplishment. The Jaguars were terrible without him last year and most expect them to be terrible again this season regardless.

Last year’s lack of success is what gave the Jaguars so much leverage with MJD this offseason. The team had to have known he wouldn’t hold out forever, and they figured Rashad Jennings would be an ample replacement if he missed any regular season time. Jones-Drew is one of the most talented backs in the league, but unfortunately for him he’s on a horrible team. Teams who win five games with their star players don’t tend to fret when they hold out as much as playoff teams do. How much worse can it get?

Helmet knock to Pro Football Talk
Photo credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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