Ravens DE Arthur Jones asks for privacy around mysterious illness

Arthur Jones is out for an indefinite amount of time. (USATSI)
Arthur Jones is out for an indefinite amount of time. (USATSI)

Ravens defensive end Arthur Jones won’t be on the field Thursday when Baltimore kicks off the NFL season against the Broncos. And very few people seem to know exactly why.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh only has said that the illness Jones is battling is not life-threatening and that the team doesn’t know how long he’ll be out. And Jones has said nothing other than this.

OK, so what’s going on here?

"I'd rather leave an explanation of Art's situation up to Art," Harbaugh said Wednesday, via the Baltimore Sun. "It's not anything that's like life-threatening or anything like that. It's non-football related. We've got to get some tests done to make sure that he's OK. Until the tests come out the right way, he's not going to be able to play.

"It's something I've been told now that they can't tell you how long it's going to be. It could be a week, it could be indefinitely. We don't think it's going to be the second part. He's going to see a specialist here on Wednesday and he can explain to you exactly what it's about, to whatever extent he wants to."

Jones, coming of a 2012 season in which he accumulated a career-high 47 tackles and a career-best 4.5 sacks, was expected to start and be an important part of a post-Ray Lewis Ravens defense. Instead, it appears as though he’ll be replaced temporarily (or, depending on the illness, maybe not so temporarily) by former Cowboys defensive end Marcus Spears.

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