NFL: Jones-Drew ends holdout, returns to Jaguars

Sun Sep 2, 2012 6:49pm EDT

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jacksonville Jaguars (R) is tackled by the Houston Texans defense during the second half of their NFL football game in Jacksonville, Florida November 27, 2011. REUTERS/Daron Dean

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jacksonville Jaguars (R) is tackled by the Houston Texans defense during the second half of their NFL football game in Jacksonville, Florida November 27, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Daron Dean

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(Reuters) - Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew ended his 38-day holdout on Sunday, returning to the National Football League (NFL) team without a new contract.

With the Jaguars preparing for their season opener next Sunday against the host Minnesota Vikings, Jones-Drew reported to the team, saying he was ready to play.

"There was nothing to be gained," Jones-Drew told reporters about his decision to return. "It was a dispute over money, at the end of the day. There was no, ‘Won or lost.'

"We're over it. It's solved for the time being and we're ready to roll."

A three-time Pro Bowler, Jones-Drew was the NFL's rushing champion last season with 1,606 yards.

The 27-year-old running back had wanted the team to renegotiate the final two-years of his current five-year deal and make him one of the league's best-paid running backs.

The holdout quickly escalated into a tense standoff between Jones-Drew and owner Shad Khan, who warned the running back that "the train is leaving the station. Run, get on it."

Both sides, however, appeared eager to end the dispute and call a truce.

"The Jaguars are a better football team today than we were yesterday, and now our entire franchise can move forward together and as one," Khan said in a statement. "Nothing more needs to be said."

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; editing by Steve Ginsburg)

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