Maurice Jones-Drew, Blaine Gabbert injuries slow Jags vs. Raiders

Sunday October 21st, 2012

Maurice Jones-Drew is averaging 4.9 yards per carry so far this season, his highest mark since becoming a full-time starter in 2009. (Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE)

The Jaguars broke through for an early score against Oakland Sunday, with Blaine Gabbert hitting Cecil Shorts for the team's first touchdown since the first quarter of Week 4. Gabbert's day did not last long past that TD toss, though, as the Jacksonville QB came out of the game soon after with a shoulder injury.

Joining him on the sidelines (on crutches) was star running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who had to be carted off the field Sunday with what the Jaguars deemed a foot injury.

Despite Jones-Drew's elite ability at running back, Jacksonville arguably is better equipped to handle his absence than that of Gabbert.

Replacing Jones-Drew in the lineup Sunday was Rashad Jennings -- he entered the year as the Jaguars' No. 1 back, on account of Jones-Drew holding out throughout the preseason. Jennings found the end zone Sunday, too, after taking over for Jones-Drew.

Gabbert's backup, Chad Henne, has 31 NFL starts under his belt but he has not done much in recent memory to make his presence feel overly reassuring for Jacksonville. Henne played four games for Miami in 2011 before suffering a season-ending injury, then latched on with the Jaguars this season to add some stability behind Gabbert. The Jaguars have struggled to generate much of anything in the way of consistent offense this season, so any changes -- forced by injury or otherwise -- may not be too devastating. Still, Jacksonville remains committed to Gabbert and relies heavily on Jones-Drew, so Sunday's injury developments ought to be frustrating nonetheless.

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