Maurice Jones-Drew makes ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ gesture after scoring touchdown (Video)

In the wake of the shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Mike Brown by Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson, numerous protests have been staged. The incident has become front-page news, drawing attention from across the United States and other parts of the world.

mjd-hands-up-celebrationIn the sports world, we have seen the St. Louis Rams provide free tickets to the football teams at three Ferguson area high schools for the Rams’ second preseason game. Washington Redskins players have also shown support, making the now famous “Hands up, don’t shoot” gesture that has become synonymous with protests in around Ferguson, Mo., during introductions.

On Friday, Oakland Raiders running back Maurice Jones-Drew took the opportunity to make the same gesture after scoring a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers, shown in the above video.

As seen over the years, sports continues to be a powerful medium for the support of social causes.

H/T BlackSportsOnline

Maurice Jones-Drew says teammate almost didn’t block for him to beat him in fantasy

Maurice Jones-DrewIf you think you and your friends take fantasy football too seriously, just wait until you hear this story.

During an interview with Evan Cohen and Steve Phillips on “Evan and Phillips in the Morning” on Mad Dog Radio SiriusXM 86 on Wednesday, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew shared a story about how one of his teammates nearly didn’t block for him on a play because the two were competing in fantasy football that week. Seriously.

“Greg Jones — see he’s not on the team anymore — perfect example: I was playing against him [in fantasy]. And we have our equipment guys keep us up on [the fantasy scores] during games. You know who you have and you see when you’re not on the field obviously but … I think if I scored, I was going to [beat Jones].

“We got onto the 1-yard line, and they were like, ‘We better call this run play.’ I’m like, ‘Greg, don’t do it.’ And he looked at me and he winked. And I was like ‘Greg.’ It’s not time to play. This is bigger than [winning in fantasy]. Let’s not do this.”

Asked what the wink meant, MJD answered, “[Jones] wasn’t going to block the guy!”

Would an NFL player really miss a block on purpose and sabotage his real team to beat a teammate in fantasy football? We highly doubt that would happen. But we do know guys have admitted missing blocks on purpose for even worse reasons, so you really can’t rule anything out.

UPDATE: MJD later said on Twitter that he was joking with the story — which is what most people figured.

You can listen to the audio of his appearance here.

Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew have bigger roles than expected in opener

Almost every fantasy football “expert” you asked on Sunday would have told you to bench both Adrian Peterson and Maurice Jones-Drew if you had other options. The star backs were not expected to receive a full workload as Peterson is still recovering from ACL surgery and Jones-Drew missed the entire offseason while holding out. If what they saw wasn’t a full load, it was pretty damn close.

Jones-Drew had a decent day from a fantasy standpoint as he had 22 touches for 99 total yards. He failed to find the endzone and it may not have been what we’re used to, but it was far more than expected from someone who was supposed to be out of shape. Peterson, on the other hand, is obviously a freak of nature.

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Adrian Peterson: Jaguars ‘would have been terrible’ without Maurice Jones-Drew

With Week 1 of the NFL season already upon us, two of the league’s top runners are facing an uphill battle to get back into shape. Maurice Jones-Drew missed all of Jaguars training camp while holding out for a new deal, but he returned over the weekend without one. Adrian Peterson has been trying to make a rapid recovery from major knee surgery. While the Jaguars stood strong and refused to give Jones-Drew a new deal, it’s clear that Peterson feels the team was playing with fire in doing so.

“Look at Jones-Drew,” Peterson said according to 1500ESPN.com. “He was their whole offense last year. So, without him, the Jaguars would have been terrible just to be honest.”

Jones-Drew was the NFL’s leading rusher last season, and Peterson credited him with keeping Jacksonville from being worse than 5-11 — which isn’t exactly an amazing accomplishment. The Jaguars were terrible without him last year and most expect them to be terrible again this season regardless.

Last year’s lack of success is what gave the Jaguars so much leverage with MJD this offseason. The team had to have known he wouldn’t hold out forever, and they figured Rashad Jennings would be an ample replacement if he missed any regular season time. Jones-Drew is one of the most talented backs in the league, but unfortunately for him he’s on a horrible team. Teams who win five games with their star players don’t tend to fret when they hold out as much as playoff teams do. How much worse can it get?

Helmet knock to Pro Football Talk
Photo credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Maurice Jones-Drew Calls Concussions Occupational Hazards, Would Risk them for His Family

The NFL’s thoughts on concussions has evolved. While concussions were largely ignored throughout football history, they have been treated more seriously lately. Congress got the League’s attention by speaking with Roger Goodell. Media pressure, medical studies, and lawsuits from former players has helped convey their severity. Many people realize how awful concussions can be, but Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew still doesn’t seem to see it.

“The only reason they’re making a big deal about concussions right now is because the league is getting sued over it,” Jones-Drew told reporters, according to The Florida Times-Union. “Before this, you never heard about it. A couple of years ago, you didn’t hear anything about it. Let’s not make something out of nothing. Yeah, people are getting messed up. That happens. Most of the time it’s because they’re not wearing mouth pieces and they’re probably doing some other stuff. Obviously, back in the day they were doing some things that weren’t going to help your body out. It’s 2012; there’s ways to fix your body. Sometimes that means you have to pay the price.”

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Maurice Jones-Drew Showing Up Critics Who Questioned His Knee

Despite being one of the best running backs in the NFL, Maurice Jones-Drew plummeted on most people’s fantasy draft charts before the season began. Most fantasy owners were concerned that MJD missed two games last year with a knee injury. They were worried he wouldn’t be recovered from offseason knee surgery. MJD is an avid fantasy football player, so he was well aware of the concerns. He said in August he was out to prove those “fantasy football gurus” wrong.

“Pretty much every reporter, ‘Will he be back, is it possible to come back and do what he’s done?’” Jones-Drew said regarding the questions he had been hearing. “A lot of fantasy football gurus who have never stepped on the field before or ever been in the locker room, they know the best about football.”

Jones-Drew promised he would prove the critics wrong, and he was right. The man coming off knee surgery leads the NFL in carries (277) and rushing yards (1,222). He also recorded his first career four-touchdown game Sunday.

MJD ran for two and caught two more scores in the Jags’ 41-14 win over the Bucs. In a year where so many fantasy running backs have been hurt — Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster, Fred Jackson, and Darren McFadden to name a few — it’s incredible that the man who entered the season with the most questions has turned out to be the most reliable of the bunch. He’s had at least 84 rushing yards in 12 of his team’s 13 games. Not bad for a guy with a bum knee. It’s time for Maurice Jones-Drew to be recognized for what he is — one of the best running backs in the NFL.

Why Did Jags Give Blaine Gabbert the Ball Over Maurice Jones-Drew on Final Play?

The Jags are a paltry 3-7 this season, and at least part of their poor record is due to bad coaching. Not only was their play calling atrocious to end their 14-10 loss to the Browns Sunday, but the Jags also exhibited poor clock management.

The Jaguars had one timeout, a 3rd and 1, and the ball at the Cleveland 5 with 41 seconds left Sunday. They were trailing the Browns 14-10 and needed a touchdown to win the game. They handed it to Maurice Jones-Drew who ran for 3 yards and a first down. Inexplicably, Jacksonville allowed 28 seconds to pass before running another play. They called for another Jones-Drew run and he gained a yard taking the ball to the one. They finally used their last timeout to stop the clock with eight seconds left.

Facing a 2nd and goal at the one, Blaine Gabbert threw incomplete for Jason Hill in the end zone. The Jags then had a 3rd and goal from the one with only three seconds left. They had one play left. One. And they needed a yard to win the game.

They had a choice: give the ball to running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who is second in the NFL in rushing. Or, put the ball in the hands of Blaine Gabbert, who has the worst passer rating in the league.

They went with the obvious choice: they gave it to the awful quarterback. Mike Thomas shook his defender in the end zone and got open, but Gabbert predictably missed the throw.

Why should we be surprised by the outcome? Gabbert’s accuracy is atrocious. He can’t make routine throws. If he could, he wouldn’t be averaging a pathetic 137 passing yards per game.

I’ve already seen enough of Blaine Gabbert to know he’s not going to be a good NFL quarterback. The sooner the Jags realize this, the better off they’ll be in the long term.