After horrific accident, Chad Jones expects to play in 2012

In April of 2010, Chad Jones was a third-round draft pick of the New York Giants, ready to tackle his dream of playing in the NFL. In June of 2010, Jones was fighting for his life after a terrible car accident.

Jones survived the accident, but there was fear that he would lose his leg, and his football career appeared to be over. But Jones’ severe leg injuries have slowly but surely healed, and he’s now working out regularly back home in New Orleans, believing he’ll play in the NFL in 2012.

“There’s been a big jump in my rehab,” Jones told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I definitely see that coming to training camp [in 2012], I should be a part of the Giants. From where I was back then, I was depressed. But now I feel so much better because I can see the progress, I can feel the progress since I’m actually running and up on my feet and doing things that a normal athlete would do, or doing the things that I used to do. I’m looking forward to seeing how I’ll be in six months.”

Wednesday is Jones’s 23rd birthday, and he’s going to mark the occasion by publicly showing off how far he’s come, running a 40-yard dash on the track at a New Orleans high school. It’s not realistic to think Jones would be as fast as he was when he ran a 4.57-second 40 at the 2010 Combine, but he does believe he’s getting close.

“It’s not so much about me worrying about the time I run,” Jones said. “It’s more about me just getting out there and showing the world that there is progress, the impossible can happen. Because at first, it was impossible for me to walk. That’s what doctors said. Now I’m running and getting close to back to my full potential. And it’s a mental thing for me, also, to get back in front of a crowd again, on the field, running. Hopefully, things will turn out pretty good.”

Considering where he was 15 months ago, things have already turned out pretty well for Jones, whether or not he ever plays for the Giants.