Teams interested in drafting Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones have likely been looking into his medical condition for some time and now they have a new, positive report to consider.
Jones left USC after getting diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spine that makes sufferers more susceptible to injury, and several teams had reportedly dropped him from their draft boards for the same reason. Jones has said he was misdiagnosed by doctors for the Trojans and that he has had no issues after transferring to Georgia.
It’s a position that got some support from orthopedist Craig Brigham, who examined Jones and issued a report to NFL teams refuting the notion that Jones has ever had a serious condition. According to Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune, Brigham “concluded that Jones either had a very mild incident of spinal cord concussion or merely a stinger that has long since resolved” and that Jones should be “cleared to play without restriction.”
That doesn’t mean that all the red flags around Jones will just disappear. Doctors disagree about their diagnoses all the time so teams are going to still have to delve into Jones’ health between now and April. Chances are that someone will feel his talent is worth the risk, but the big question will be at what point they decide that the risk/reward ratio swings in their favor when it comes to selecting Jones.