The Jacksonville Jaguars have struggled mightily over the past few weeks, and last Sunday, the team lost its fourth game in a row after falling to the Texans 30-14.
While losing four straight is awful, it’s not all bad for Jacksonville.
Fourth-year corner Sidney Jones played well for the team and had an interception and four pass defenses against the Texans last Sunday. Jones, who was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round in 2017, was signed to Jacksonville’s practice squad in early September after being waived by Philadelphia.
The 24-year-old Jones struggled with injuries during his time in Philadelphia, and due to injuries and poor play, Jones started only eight games in three seasons with the Eagles. Coming out of the University of Washington, Jones was expected to go in the first round, but he would tear his Achilles tendon at his pro day, which caused him to drop to the second round.
According to Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone, Jacksonville really liked Jones coming out of college.
“I think that it’s unfortunate; coming out of college, we all really liked him. Obviously, a lot of teams liked him,” Marrone said on Thursday. “He went high in the draft, and then he had an injury, and sometimes when you have those injuries, it just takes a while to get back. Even when he first came here, I don’t know if he was completely [healthy]. I don’t want to say that he was still injured.
“I just think the confidence that you need when you come back from an injury, especially when you’re a young football player like Sidney is. Then all of a sudden you see him moving better, you see him break, and you see him doing things, and you’re like, ‘Wow, this is great. I’m excited for him,’ and then to see him go on the field. I remember talking to him telling him how excited I was for him to go out there and be able to show what he can do because I’m sure he’s probably disappointed with the injury situation that happened earlier that he wasn’t able to go out there and preform at his highest level.”
Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Walsh was also impressed by what he has seen out of Jones, and according to Walsh, Jones will get more opportunities to impress.
“You’ve seen the success that he had last week, and a lot of that was in off coverage, and I still think his strength is up in press,” Walsh said. “So, we’re very excited [about] how he played last week, and I think he’s encouraged for how he played. You’ll see a lot of him, obviously, this week. And hopefully, he’s going to have the same type of success this week. We’ve got a good group of wideouts we’ve got to defend…
[“He] fits into what we do and, like I said, he played a heck of a game last week.”
Jaguars S Jarrod Wilson added: “Pretty much since Sidney [Jones] ‘s got here, he’s been doing just a great job. Obviously, we’re a press corner team, so I think he does a really good job of getting hands-on, and he’s long outside, that’s not typical of every corner. [He was] able to get his hands on a couple balls on Sunday, which definitely helped it [the defense].”
You have to be happy for Jones. This opportunity in Jacksonville is a big one for him. He will get a chance to play, and in the NFL, you can’t ask for anything more. Now, if he continues to play at a high level, Jones will have found a home in Jacksonville.