The Cardinals placed Jones (biceps) on injured reserve Thursday, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports. Jones is slated to miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery to address his biceps injury, so his shift to IR is simply a formality that opens up an additional roster spot for Arizona. The veteran edge rusher is reportedly on track to return in time for OTAs.
Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury confirmed Wednesday that Jones will undergo surgery on his biceps and miss the remainder of the season, James Palmer of NFL Network reports. After exiting Sunday's win over the Jets with the injury, Jones underwent an MRI on Monday that confirmed the Cardinals' fear that season-ending surgery would be necessary. According to Kyle Odegard of the team's official site, Kingsbury estimated that Jones would require 3-to-4 months to recover from surgery, putting the edge rusher on track to be ready for OTAs next spring. After totaling a career-high 19 sacks in 2019, Jones was off to a slow start to 2020 with one sack in five games, but his absence for the rest of the season is a major blow to the Arizona defense nonetheless. Expect the Cardinals to lean on a rotation of Kylie Fitts, Haason Reddick and Dennis Gardeck to fill in for Jones at outside linebacker.
Jones will have an MRI on Monday to evaluate the severity of his bicep injury, Kevin Zimmerman of ArizonaSports.com reports. Coach Kliff Kingsbury said Sunday that if his injury is confirmed, the All-Pro linebacker will be ruled out for the rest of the season. The MRI will reveal the extent of Jones' injury, so we should know his status by Tuesday at the latest. There's no true replacement for a player like Jones, who has posted double-digit sacks in five straight seasons and led the league with 19 last year.
Jones won't return to Sunday's game against the Jets due to a biceps injury, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports. The 30-year-old headed to the locker room during the first half with the injury and won't be retaking the field. Jones' status should be updated following the contest or early this week.
Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph believes Jones can improve his formation recognition and run defense, NFL.com's Jim Trotter reports. The 30-year-old is well established as an upper-echelon pass rusher, with a career-high 19 sacks in 2019 giving him double digits for a fifth consecutive season. Jones also has shown a knack for forcing fumbles and batting down passes, but his 71.0 PFF grade for run defense in 2019 tied for 29th among 49 edge defenders with 500-plus snaps. While some might see it as nitpicking to criticize a dominant pass rusher for only being decent against the run, it sounds like Joseph is intent on seeing Jones improve in that regard. Jones should be ready for training camp after having thumb ligament surgery in late December.
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