Maurice Jones-Drew's future in Jacksonville looks bleak and there's been no indication he's willing to rejoin the Jaguars, but head coach Mike Mularkey said Jones-Drew could still start Week 1 if the former UCLA RB does end his holdout.
It's impossible for the Jaguars to know what kind of football shape Jones-Drew is currently in, but his fitness would determine when and if he plays, Mularkey said:
"It depends on him. What kind of shape he's in, how fast he picks up the system. I think I said it, I don't know what day it was, I'm not going to put him in a position where he has any chance to fail because in the long run we all fail. I'm not going to expose him to failure. It's not going to happen. If he's ready and all that conditioning-wise and he picks it up immediately, the faster he can progress."
Jones-Drew rushed for 1,606 yards and eight touchdowns on 343 carries (4.7 ypc) in 2011, and he's nearing 7,000 career yards after six seasons. Health should not be a concern -- in the three seasons he's been the Jaguars' full-time starter, he's missed just two games.
When asked if there was a point of no return for Jones-Drew, Mularkey was unsure. "I've never gone through this process with any player at any position, so I don't know where we'll be when we get to it," he said.