Cornerback Sidney Jones suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during his Pro Day workout in March. Before the draft, he expressed confidence during a visit to PFT Live that he’ll be ready to go by September. (His doctors seemed to agree.) The Eagles could be targeting September as well for his debut — September of 2018.
Both coach Doug Pederson and executive V.P. of football operations Howie Roseman have in recent days made it clear that the team will be taking their time with Jones.
“The medical staff is happy with where he’s at,” Pederson told reporters on Friday. “But at the same time, we’re not going to put any kind of timetable on him. We’re going to do right by him and make sure he’s 100 percent before we stick him out there on the field.”
Roseman had even more to say during a Thursday visit to PFT Live, and he created the impression that 2017 could be a redshirt year for Jones.
“We’ve just got to make sure that Sidney’s 100 percent,” Roseman said. “It’s a really big need of ours going forward as we look to build this team and get back into the postseason and hopefully go deep into the postseason. Having guys who can match up with the receivers in our division is a huge priority for us, and Sidney, on tape, he can do that. He’s twitchy, he’s long, he’s got ball skills and instincts to do the things we’re looking for with the talent we have at receiver in our division. So we’ve just go to make sure that he’s 100 percent. He’s 20 years old, and we’re going to do the right things by him. We almost view it as if we’re in the second round and someone offered us a first round pick next year, would we do it? We would do that every time.”
Roseman was asked whether this means Jones may not play at all this season. Here’s his (non) response.
“He’ll come in [Thursday], we have our rookie minicamp this weekend, and our doctors and trainers will get their hands on him again because they haven’t seen him in a couple weeks, really a couple months, and then they’ll see how he’s progressing,” Roseman said, “and we’ll get back together and hear from them about what’s going on with him and put down an itinerary really of the things he needs to do to get back on the football field.”
There’s no reason to think Jones isn’t on board with that approach, even if it means not playing this year. His comments about playing came when he hoped to be drafted as high as possible. He still became a top-50 pick even with the torn Achilles. If the team that picked him that high is willing to wait (and in turn willing to pay his salary if he’s on the Non-Football Injury list), Jones should have no objection to efforts to ensure that he’s fully and completely 100 percent before he returns to action.