Rams inside linebacker Ernest Jones has the chance to play this weekend in Tampa Bay.
The Rams designated Jones to return from injured reserve, the team announced Thursday.
This means the next step for Jones is taking reps in practice to see how he responds as his involvement ramps up. Jones isn't yet officially back on the active roster as the team still has to activate him if and when they believe he's ready to suit up for game-day, but the activation must be completed within the next 21 days upon coming off injured reserve.
McVay said earlier in the week there's a chance that he returns for the Divisional Round meeting against the Buccaneers, but left the door open with Jones' status still developing.
“Both, (Jones) and Darrell Henderson are potential guys that could return, or that we could start their clocks," McVay said this week. "Whether that means they’re actually available this week or not is to be determined, but both of those guys are kind of in the same boat. Ernest might be a little bit further ahead of Darrell, so that is a good thing on both of those guys.”
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Jones, 22, suffered an ankle injury in Week 16 against the Vikings, forcing him to land on injured reserve. Jones has been sidelined for three games, the injured reserve minimum – now making him eligible to return back into the thick of things.
The Rams' rookie is the best coverage linebacker on the team, serving a role in which he patrols the middle of the field covering tight ends and running backs in addition to his contributions in run support.
Jones has recorded 61 tackles, two interceptions, four pass breakups, two sacks and three quarterback hits through 15 games in his first NFL season.
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