New England Patriots defensive tackle Chris Jones seems destined to miss the remainder of preseason play this summer. The second-year lineman suffered an ankle injury in Thursday’s nights defeat in Washington. Initial reports indicate that the injury is not a season threatening type though, Jones will be sidelined until further notice.
Jones sustained the injury when his teammate Marcus Forston was blocked into him. Forston rolled into Jones’ left leg after being pushed to the ground by a pair of Redskin offensive linemen. It appeared as if his leg bent in an unnatural manner. The Patriots training staff tended to Jones immediately following the play. Jones was in visible pain.
The training staff assisted Jones off the field. After a brief stop on the sideline, the 24-year-old hobbled off to the lockeroom under his own power.
Jones emerged as a key member along the Patriots defensive front last season. He did a formidable job in filling in for the injured Tommy Kelly and Vince Wilfork. In addition to providing stout play againt the run, the Bowling Green State graduate showed an ability to rush the passer. He amassed six total sacks and 54 tackles.
While the Patriots do have a healthy Wilfork and Kelly back in the lineup, their depth beyond the duo is running a bit thin. Sealver Siliga is already out with a wrist ailment. Rookie Dominique Easley has not been participating in practice either.
The silver lining for the club is that Jones should be ready to go come week 1 of the regular season. Coach Bill Belichick will certainly look to rely on Jones in the rotation along the interior defensive line. Both Kelly and Wilfork aren’t getting any younger. Jones has shown promise and can provide them with a breather when needed.