The Eagles took a chance in the second round in April by drafting Sidney Jones. They are convinced it will pay off.
The Washington cornerback tore his Achilles during his pro day following a standout junior season on the field. His stock as a first round pick took a hit, but the Eagles snatched him with the 43rd overall pick and he’s been at training camp every single day. He just hasn’t been wearing pads.
“It’s a tough situation. It’s tough,” defensive coordintor Jim Schwartz said. “First of all, training camp is a grind anyway. You’re out there. You’re practicing and you’re meeting, you’re lifting, you’re doing all those things. It’s harder when you’re not the one that’s on the film. He has a tough job. He’s been very good at staying up with things.”
It’s too early to say whether 2017 will serve as a redshirt season for Jones, who could ascend eventually into the role of No. 1 cornerback for the Eagles. There is no timetable for his return, but he is on the sideline for every play and participating as much as he can.
“A lot of mental reps,” fellow Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills said. “You see him asking questions, you see him standing next to coach, he is really focused on what is going on. Sometimes when we walk of the field he is asking me questions.”
The Eagles can use all the help they can get at cornerback, and so there is still hope he will be able to contribute in some capacity before the season ends. And if his ankle is ready to go, Schwartz and the Eagles coaching staff expect him to be able to step onto the field without missing a beat.
“At some point he’s going to play,” Schwartz said. “Who knows when it’s going to be? We don’t know. But his job is to make sure he’s mentally ready when he’s physically ready.”