Jones-Drew making progress on field, in classroom

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 19, 2012
Houston_texans_v_a89c
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew is making progress toward getting back on the field and getting his college degree. Jones-Drew started running for the first time in nearly two months Wednesday, but remains a long shot to play Sunday when the Jaguars (2-12) host New England (10-4). Jones-Drew has missed the last eight games because of a sprained left foot. Coach Mike Mularkey called his star running back ''questionable,'' an upgrade from his ''highly questionable'' status of recent weeks. ''I just don't want to go out there and put anybody else in jeopardy if I can't be full speed,'' Jones-Drew said. ''If I can't go out there and fully protect our quarterback, help our offensive line and block, I'm not going to go out there and put somebody else's life in jeopardy.'' With two games remaining, the Jaguars have little left to play for in what will go down as the worst season in franchise history. And Jones-Drew has nothing to prove. He led the NFL in rushing last season, has another year remaining on a lucrative contract and remains the centerpiece of the franchise. But standing on the sideline has been difficult for the ultra-competitive back who has been telling teammates for weeks that ''losers tend to quit when things get tough.'' ''For me, it's just more to show my teammates and the league that people get hurt and you just have to be able to bounce back,'' he said. ''Watching these guys for a long time and coaching, you got to be able to preach what you coach. I've been doing a lot of talking. I haven't been able to go out there and do it yet, so hopefully I can get out there and be able to show some of the guys what I've been talking about.'' Jones-Drew is going back to school for similar reasons. When he left UCLA after his junior season in 2006, Jones-Drew promised his mother and his grandparents that he would return to school and get his degree. Football, family, cross-country travel and plenty of other excuses make college an afterthought. But with the Jaguars long removed from playoff contention and his youngest child now 19 months old, Jones-Drew is going back to college. He's taking three business classes beginning Jan. 7. ''Some of these schools, they'll take a check for that degree,'' he said. ''I am not going to say who, not going to say what schools, but at UCLA, you got to go back. You can't take online classes. You have to go back and actually go in the classroom. That made it tough.'' And get this: Jones-Drew wants to live in a dorm. ''I don't think I'll be a college kid again,'' he said. ''College kids don't make what I make, and I don't party like that, don't do those things. I just go to school and catch up on a lot of sleep. I have to get here at 6:30 every morning and I've got three kids at home, man. I don't get a lot of sleep with those guys.'' Maybe the best news for coach Mike Mularkey and the Jaguars is that Jones-Drew is just going to college for a quarter and doesn't plan on missing anything mandatory in the offseason. ''I probably won't train'' in Jacksonville, Jones-Drew said. ''I'm going to train the way I've trained for the last seven years.'' Jones-Drew skipped the entire offseason program in 2012, sitting out training camp and the preseason during a 38-day holdout while looking for a new contract. The Jaguars didn't budge, refusing to renegotiate since he had two years remaining on a five-year deal worth $31.5 million. He made $4.45 million this season and due to get $4.95 million next year. He said Wednesday he doesn't plan on another holdout. ''We'll see how it goes,'' he said. ''Things could change, though.'' His status for the Patriots could change, too, depending on how his foot responds to Wednesday's workout. ''I will be very surprised if he can go out there and run like we want him to run today,'' Mularkey said. ''I will be very surprised. ... I'm happy he's going to be out there running, making an effort to push that thing and see how it's going to feel.'' --- Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Kings engaging in trade talks for Cousins

Report: Romo willing to rework contract to facilitate trade

Lonzo Ball's father says son is better than Curry right now

Report: Rams could have interest in Cousins if Goff flops

Report: Butler to Celtics talk will loom over All-Star week

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Carmelo expects to remain with Knicks

James Harden: ‘For sure’ I’m the best player in the world

Report: Pats expected to make good effort to keep Bennett

Glenn Robinson III dunks over three people to win Slam Dunk Contest

Kevin Durant booed at All-Star introductions in New Orleans

Charles Oakley joins Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Best of Yardbarker: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

Box Score 2/17: Happy birthday, Michael Jordan (and welcome to 1000 point club, Sid!)

The 'Michael Jordan might still win the Dunk contest if he entered' quiz

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Box Score 2/16: Getting ready for the ASG

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of YB: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Who will break these NBA All-Star Game records?

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker