The Jacksonville Jaguars have stabilized the top of their running back depth chart.
Rashad Jennings is the starter. Montell Owens is the backup.
The order will change when Maurice Jones-Drew returns to the team, but maybe not right away. Head coach Mike Mularkey said Tuesday that there are things Jones-Drew will need to prove before he gets his spot in the lineup back.
"We have to obviously spend extra time with him in the classroom and see where he is with his conditioning," Mularkey told the Florida Times-Union. "... Even if he is in good condition, he won't be in football condition.
"I think it would be a disservice to him in if was not fully prepared. It would be a health risk to do that. If he's not prepared, it's not going to help us offensively, and it's not going to help our team if he's not ready to go at full strength. I would never put our team in jeopardy of being in that position."
As far as we know, MJD has been working out and is in good shape. But yes, he might very well be rusty when it comes to football condition and learning a new coach's playbook. I don't see this holdout carrying into the second week of September, but I was already shying away from him in fantasy drafts because I fear a breakdown from MJD. We shouldn't forget that he had major knee surgery prior to last season and then touched the ball a career- and league-high 386 times. Now he's probably going to miss most, if not all, of training camp.
Jennings has been has been a popular handcuff in recent years. He didn't play at all in 2011 due to injury, but it looks like his popularity should be back on the rise. Mularkey has said a lot of nice this about Jennings during camp and in the offseason -- and I think those statements are more than just a message to his absent star player. Jennings should be a popular pick in the later rounds of your draft. His ADP should rise with each day that Jones-Drew misses.