After the team announced on Friday that the star running back had been placed on injured reserve after undergoing surgery on his left foot in North Carolina, there is a belief MJD will be able to come back and rejoin the team at full speed sometime in May.
That's a lot to ask of a running back that has missed the last 10 games of the season before the team and the player opted to have his foot repaired.
"We had hoped it would—as others have—heal without surgery, and it didn't," coach Mike Mularkey said Friday in a story by Paul Kuharsky on ESPN.com.
The Jaguars have been shuffling running backs in and out of the lineup all season and could have more problems at the position in training camp should the healing process for MJD take longer than expected.
Does this team now rethink its position on his role and either trade for a running back, sign one in free agency or look to the draft to shore up depth? It is just one more question that needs to be answered by team owner Shad Khan and his management team, who may be looking at the possibility of the head coach and the team general manager, Gene Smith, being filtered out of the team's plans in 2013 after a disappointing 2-14 season in 2012.
As Kuharsky also pointed out in his story, this decision "created plenty of questions about why the team didn't opt for surgery months ago."
Running backs like San Francisco's Brandon Jacobs or the Texans' Ben Tate could be options via trade. The free-agent market could bring in someone like Detroit's Joique Bell or LeGarrette Blount of Tampa Bay or even a chance on someone like Steven Jackson of St. Louis should the surgery not yield the results the team hopes for.
It's a slippery slope the team is already standing on. Hopefully the coaching staff and management can meet on a plan that is helpful in the event there needs to be major changes within the position.
Hopefully [MJD will be] back by May, late May, early June," Mularkey said to the media on Friday. "If it's May, we're not going to miss a lot. I don't think it's significant that we're doing it now. We all felt like he had a chance to play all the way up until this week and really we were hoping he could."
All that can be done now is have the team, the media, the fans and MJD wait to see what happens. The offseason again should prove to be interesting, if not exciting.
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