Chandler Jones to Have Season-Ending Biceps Surgery
Turns out the cryptic ellipses tweet Arizona Cardinals All-Pro outside linebacker Chandler Jones sent out Tuesday night before promptly deleting was prophetic for the bad news to come out Wednesday, as head coach Kliff Kingsbury confirmed Jones will have surgery to repair a biceps injury he suffered against the New York Jets and miss the rest of the season.
When asked if Jones' biceps is torn, Kingsbury said he is unaware of the exact medical term of what Jones is dealing with, but confirmed the typical recovery timeline is 3-4 months.
"He's an incredible human being just to be around," Kingsbury said Monday. "Never seen him without a smile on his face, his work ethic, the energy he brings to the practice field, he's relentless and even when teams are double- (and) triple-teaming him, he doesn't get down. He's excited for everybody else's success and he's a huge part of this deal."
Jones suffered the injury in the second quarter against the Jets and did not return. After walking off the field with trainers, he was captured on the game broadcast testing out some pass-rushing moves with defensive tackle Jordan Phillips. He had what appeared to be a brace extending from his wrist up and under the t-shirt covering his shoulder. After one movement, Jones seemingly grimaced and grabbed around his right elbow area before sitting on the bench.
"It's hard for me to put into words just because I know how much Chan puts into it," Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk said after the win Sunday. "He was there for me when I had my injuries. That's my big bro. His energy and even when he came back out, he still had a smile on his face. His energy never lacks and for a player like that, no matter what, if he's on the field or not, he's always going to have an impact on this team.
"It's definitely a heartbreaking loss, but if there's anybody that can handle something like that it's Chandler. He's going to be with us the whole entire way and I know that's a guy that I'm going to be playing the rest of this season for if he is out the rest of the way."
The All-Pro linebacker has not missed a game since 2016, starting every one in the process. For his career, Jones has missed nine games of 123 total, appearing as a non-starter in just three.
As a member of the Cardinals, Jones has accumulated an NFL-leading 61.0 sacks. Since entering the NFL with the New England Patriots as a first-round pick in 2012 out of Syracuse, Jones has amassed a league-leading 97.0 sacks. Prior to suffering the injury Sunday, Jones had one sack coming in the season opener against the San Francisco 49ers. He finished the game against the Jets registering one tackle.
The five games Jones has logged is the least amount he will have played during a given season. The next closest is 2014 when he played 10. He has never not played or started as a Cardinal.
"My prayers are with him," said Arizona outside linebacker Dennis Gardeck, who rotated in as a replacement for Jones Sunday and had two sacks in 10 defensive snaps "... He's been a great mentor for me these past three years. I want nothing but the best for him."
With Jones out for the year with placement on reserve/injured forthcoming, the starting outside linebacker role outside of Devon Kennard — who it is hoped will be back in Week 6 after being inactive the last two weeks due to a calf injury — will likely be a rotation between Gardeck, Kylie Fitts, Haason Reddick and, potentially, Isaiah Simmons.
"It really falls on all of us," Kingsbury said of trying to replace Jones. "Every player on this team, you've got to step your game up. Offensively, score more points; special teams-wise, get better field position; and then defensively, we've got to find a way to generate pressure."
Added safety Budda Baker: "Chandler Jones, that's a big loss. He's a great player for our team. One of the best defensive pass rushers in the league, if not the best, and we're definitely going to miss him. But the standard is the standard."