Wide receiver Zay Jones is a key piece on the Jacksonville Jaguars offense but a knee injury has limited to three games this season. The good news is that he's making progress in his recovery and returned to practice Wednesday, albeit on a limited basis.
Head coach Doug Pederson met with the local media early Wednesday and said Jones would be returning to practice. However, he didn't provide a specific timeline for the receiver's return. Jones suffered a knee injury in Week 2 and missed the next two games. He came back against the Buffalo Bills in Week 5 and re-injured the knee. For this reason, the Jags aren't rushing Jones back into the field.
The East Carolina product spoke to the local media after practice and talked about his recovery and overall progress, via 1010 XL.
"I definitely feel like there's some progress and I'm very grateful," Jones said. "I think the training staff and the weight staff have done a great job of working with me. So I'm grateful to move around a little bit."
Jones went on to say that he asked for a second opinion, which was similar to the original diagnosis" Both staffs had a similar diagnosis of the knee, so we're all on the same page with it. And I'm just grateful that nothing new came up or there are no surprises. Just moving forward with treatment as we scheduled."
Later in the exchange, Jones said that the brace isn't the most comfortable thing but he's doing everything he can to get back on the field. He then adds that he has no regrets about returning in Week 5 and getting hurt again.
"There's always that risk factor. I want it to be out there for my team, so I don't regret that decision. Whenever I can be out there at any level to give them the best ever for my team. That's what I want to do, and I don't think this training staff would have put me back on the field and didn't think I was capable of playing, so it is what it is at this point," Jones said.
In related news, offensive lineman Walker Little, cornerback Tyson Campbell, safety Andre Cisco, left guard Ezra Cleveland, and safety Daniel Thomas all got the questionable tag on Wednesday's injury report. Rookie Yasir Abdullah was out of practice with an illness. Here's Jones' full exchange with the media after practice.
The Jaguars may be without Zay Jones vs. the 49ers but are getting healthy nonetheless
At this point, there's no rush to get Zay Jones on the field. Although there's a steep dropoff from him to Jamal Agnew and Tim Jones, the Jacksonville Jaguars are better off waiting until he's close to 100 percent. But even if Jones doesn't suit up against the San Francisco 49ers, they should still get a handful of key players back.
Doug Pederson has stated that if Walker Little is cleared to play, he'll be the starting left guard. A second-round pick in 2021, Little played left tackle four games to start the season but moved inside once Cam Robinson was reinstated from a suspension. Unfortunately, he suffered an MCL injury and has missed the past three contests. That said, he could return as early as this week barring any setbacks.
The Jags could also get Tyson Campbell and Andre Cisco back for the Niners game. They're both dealing with hamstring injuries but are trending in the right direction.
The San Francisco 49ers could turn out to be a measuring stick for the Jacksonville Jaguars. This is why having Little, Campbell, or Cisco back in the fold would certainly increase their chances of getting their seventh win of the season.