The Jacksonville Jaguars got a huge lift on Friday when running back and franchise player Maurice Jones-Drew practiced for the first time this year and felt no pain during or afterwards, according to ESPN.
"It just feels comfortable making those cuts and knowing there's no pain in the foot, ankle, whatever," Jones-Drew said. "Not running for eight months, it's like, 'Can I still do it?' But I've been playing football for 20 years and it's just natural."
Jones-Drew has been on the mend since last October with a Lisfranc injury, something which ultimately required surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation. Last year, Jones-Drew only played in six games, rushing for 414 yards and scoring two touchdowns.
In his career, Jones-Drew has three seasons of over 1,000 yards rushing including a career-high 1,606 yards in 2011.
The star played in about a dozen plays Friday, getting to run and catch. Head coach Gus Bradley will be relying heavily on Jones-Drew throughout the season without other proven weapons on the offense to help out third-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
Justin Blackmon is a candidate to take the load somewhat off Jones-Drew's shoulders, but he's also suspended for the first four games after violating the NFL's substance abuse guidelines.