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Maurice Jones-Drew must work to get his job back

On the heels of an arguably meaningless holdout, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew knows he won't be handed the world without a fight.

"I have to work to get my job back," Jones-Drew told The Florida Times-Union after Wednesday's practice. "That's all it is. Nobody has ever given me anything, so I'm used to it. I like it because the competition is going to be great."

Rashad Jennings has taken the bulk of carries all summer and will start Sunday's season opener against the Minnesota Vikings. Jones-Drew has been relegated to third-down work -- for now. He didn't want his playing time reduced last season, but he understands the picture has changed one year later.

"It won't be tough," Jones-Drew said. "Last year we had a little fall out because I thought I should have carried the ball more after I thought I was ready. It's not necessarily about being ready, it's about earning that position and earning that time. It's going to take a little longer and I understand that. That's what happens when you do the things I did."

MJD will take the wheel in time, but the Jaguars have an interesting situation in the backfield.

Jennings has produced all summer and will spend a good chunk of the autumn eating away at Jones-Drew's workload. For Jennings -- a free agent in 2013 -- these games represent an audition to play a role other than MJD's understudy. Whether that happens in Jacksonville or elsewhere might come down to how the Jaguars feel about Jones-Drew after this season.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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