Jones' 2018 season came to a premature close after he suffered what was initially classified as a right knee bruise during Detroit's Week 10 loss to Chicago. Since there haven't been any reports the setback required surgery, it's not a huge surprise he could be running around again in time for OTAs this spring. Jones is entering the fourth year of the five-year contract he signed with the Lions in 2016.
Jones (knee) may be considered expendable after Kenny Golladay broke out for 1,063 yards in 2018, Nate Atkins of MLive.com reports.
Jones is coming off an injury-shortened season with a team that's trying to move toward a run-first offense, yet he still seems like a pretty good fit in Detroit, where he's entering the fourth season of a five-year, $40 million contract without much talent behind him at wide receiver. While the reasonable contract would give him some value on the trade market, it would be easier for the Lions to simply keep him around as a steady No. 2 receiver alongside Golladay. The team seemingly expects Jones to make a full recovery during the offseason, though there hasn't been any update on the exact nature of his knee injury.
There was some hope Jones could return Week 13 against the Rams, but he'll instead be ruled out for the rest of the season, leaving Bruce Ellington, TJ Jones, Andy Jones and Brandon Powell as Detroit's complementary wide receivers behind Kenny Golladay. While coach Matt Patricia declined to elaborate on the nature of Jones' injury, the team likely will provide more information at a later date. The 28-year-old wideout finishes 2018 with 35 catches for 508 yards and five touchdowns on 62 targets in nine games. While still reasonably efficient on a per-target basis, Jones took a major step back from his 1,101-yard, nine-TD campaign the previous year. He has two seasons remaining on his five-year, $40 million contract.
Jones hasn't been able to practice in any capacity the past two weeks while recovering from a bone bruise in his knee. It's an unpredictable injury that could lead to missed time beyond Week 12, though a return for Week 13 against the Rams wouldn't come as a major surprise either. Kenny Golladay is a clear favorite to lead the Lions in targets during the Thanksgiving Day game, with TJ Jones, Bruce Ellington (back) and Andy Jones all providing support.