Jeff Demps plans to resume track career

Should the Patriots care about Jeff Demps wanting to continue his track career?

2/27/13 in NFL   |   Pat   |   5135 respect

Aug 29, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  New England Patriots running back Jeff Demps (42) returns opening kickoff against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY SportsJeff Demps didn't play a single down for the New England Patriots last year, sitting on injured reserve with what many suspected to be a phantom injury designed to keep him under the Patriots' control without having to take up a roster spot.

This year, he announced that he'll be continuing with his track and field career, starting with an event in March. The track season lasts through August.

Some people are suggesting that this could be the end of his career with the Patriots. But does it have to mean that?

Demps has world class speed. Literally. He was a member of Team USA's silver medal winning 4x100 relay team.

He's signed for another 2 years with the Patriots, and the former University of Florida WR can definitely help the Patriots on the football field. Whether as a return man or a WR, there's no way the Patriots couldn't benefit from his blazing speed.

Would a track career really interfere all that much with his NFL obligations? Most likely not.

He would definitely be staying in remarkably good shape, which is more than some players can say. The injury risk is relatively low for a sprinter, so it's not like the Patriots have to worry all that much about him getting injured and missing time.

The one catch is that the track season runs from March to August. NFL training camps open up in May, so he would have to cut his track season short to join camp in time. Or, he could show up late to camp and miss valuable workout time with the team.

There's no doubt that Demps needs to spend time in Patriots camp next year if he has any hopes of seeing the field in 2013. Will he be willing to sacrifice the second half of his track schedule to accommodate that?

Theoretically, the Patriots should be completely fine with him running some track events... provided that he shows up on time for all NFL duties. As long as that happens, best of luck to him. But the first time he's late, it might be time for him to make a choice... Track, or the NFL?
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