It's easy to parse an athlete's words into something they are not. But it's also a bit surprising and concerning when a competitor as motivated as Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew says he has battled serious doubt during training camp.
Jones-Drew admitted Wednesday that in his comeback from a foot injury that wiped out most of his 2012 season, he struggled to stay motivated.
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“The main part is just staying positive,” he said. “There were a couple days during camp where I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this anymore.’ Once the pain subsides and the soreness goes away you’re ready to roll again and you fought through those first couple weeks. You were all saying I felt great, and I had to lie to myself too and say that as well. Now I feel good and I’m just ready to get out there and play.”
You can understand Jaguars fans getting a little twitchy about this one — as if they don't have enough to worry about — especially the part about him "lying" to himself. But MJD also is also a noted talker, prone to candor and maybe a little hyperbole, and nowhere in there did he mention retirement the "R word."
From a fantasy football perspective, owners have had a hard time gauging Jones-Drew's worth, considering his age and recent injury history. But Jones-Drew also said in that same session with the media that he feels great and will be ready to take on all comers this season, starting with the Chiefs on Sunday. He reports he'll be ready for as heavy a workload as the Jags are willing to levy on him, which should make a few people more at ease.
Just because a guy suffers doubt in August doesn't mean he'll fail in September and beyond.