‘It was kind of burning me up inside’: Eagles’ Sidney Jones enters NFL in walking boot
PHILADELPHIA — Friday’s post-practice film session wasn’t easy for Sidney Jones.
After the first day of Eagles rookie minicamp, defensive players piled into their meeting room to go over the tape. Jones attended, too, but the second-round cornerback out of Washington hobbled into the room with a boot on his left foot to protect his ruptured Achilles tendon.
Jones said he settled in to watch coaches review practice and felt tested. He was the only player in the room who couldn’t critique his performance.
“It was kind of burning me up inside,” Jones said. “Everybody’s getting coached up, and I’m not getting coached up. I just have to watch the other guys do their stuff, and, you know, it’s hard. But it’s a process. I’m going to learn patience going through this.”
Jones suffered the injury at Washington’s Pro Day on March 10, and while the Eagles still drafted the former Huskie No. 43 overall, the Achilles tear likely cost him millions of dollars and the title of first-round pick.
It’s unclear when Jones will return to the field. Several reports have suggested he’ll be able to resume full activity in October, but Jones and the Eagles said they want to be cautious.
Jones declined Friday to say whether he expects to play at all in 2017.
“We’re just taking it day by day,” he said.
Philadelphia Eagles’ Sidney Jones walks out of the media house at the NovaCare Complex sporting a walking boot on his left foot that protects his torn Achilles tendon. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
But during his first press conference as a member of the Eagles, Jones insisted he would one day return to full form and help the Birds’ quell long-standing ills in their secondary. That’s the message the Eagles sent when they drafted Jones; executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman tabbed the 20-year-old as a long-term fix.
In the meantime, the all-Pac 12 first-teamer is relegated to watching tape of others, performing basic exercises to strengthen his Achilles and working out his upper body. Jones said he’s looking forward to May 21, when he should be able to ditch the boot.
Other than that, many of the specifics regarding Jones’ rehab remain fuzzy, which makes rookie minicamp frustrating, he said. At the same time, though, his first week in Philadelphia has been stocked with thrilling moments — Jones signed his first NFL contract, met his new coaches and learned he’d be wearing No. 22 in midnight green in the near future.
“I’m in this league,” Jones said. “That’s been my dream since I started playing ball at the age of 6. I’m in the league, and that’s all I can be grateful for.”
But for now, Jones feels conflicted. And he probably will until he can walk into the film room and watch himself on the screen.
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