Cornerback Sidney Jones was one of the players affected by the NFL rule barring rookies from practicing with their teams until their schools are out of session, although his absence didn’t cost him any time on the field.
Jones is recovering from the torn Achilles he suffered during his pro day workout ahead of the draft, so his time away from the Eagles was spent rehabbing the injury. The second-round pick is out of the walking boot he had been wearing to help with the healing process, which is a step forward in an still uncertain process.
The Eagles have said they believe Jones will return to being the same kind of player he was before he was hurt, but they don’t know if that will happen before 2017 is out. Whether Jones can play or not, defensive backs coach Cory Undlin said the team will be preparing him as if he will be in the lineup.
“It won’t be a lost year — whenever he comes back, obviously that gap with all these OTAs, he’ll be behind in that, and that’s the only difference,” Undlin said, via Philly.com. “We’ll be preparing every day with him showing up like he’s going to play this year. Now is he? I have no idea. He has no idea. But we’re going about our business on a daily basis like he’s going to play, and his mindset has to be exactly the same. And then when he’s out there, he’s out there. Will he be a little bit behind? He’ll be behind, because he obviously hasn’t had these reps.”
Jones has been communicating regularly with Undlin and others from the Eagles and will be at this week’s minicamp for their first up-close look at how the recovery is going in some time.