KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Defensive end Chris Jones has battled through ligament damage in his wrist to return to the field this season for the Kansas City Chiefs.
After having two sacks in a season-opening win against the Cleveland Browns, Jones went three games without a sack before sitting out a win at Washington and a loss at home against Buffalo.
Jones, who returned to the lineup last week at Tennessee and punctuated Monday’s win against the New York Giants with a sack, said the rest was necessary to regain his pass-rushing mojo.
“I ended up tearing some ligaments in my wrist and I tried to play through it,” Jones said. “I don’t make any excuses for myself. I tried to play through it and realized that I couldn’t play to my full potential while playing through it, so I thought it was best to try to take a couple weeks off to let it heal. Thankfully, the team agreed and I feel a lot better now. I’m able to do some things that I wasn’t able to do when it initially happened.”
Jones, who moved from defensive tackle to defensive end this season, explained his evolving role along the defensive line in greater detail Monday, noting that he’d expected to play inside more than he has this season.
“I’ve been on the inside on passing downs. I’ve been on the outside on base or run downs,” Jones said. “That’s typically been a thing this whole year. But it’s just us getting teams to passing downs.”
The Giants found themselves in third-and-6 or longer on five of 12 third downs, allowing Jones more chances to be disruptive from the interior.
“We’ve been doing that. He just had more snaps in there, and some of it was just him feeling better,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.
Jones’ wrist isn’t completely healed and may not be this season, but he said Sack Nation never left and he hopes it will finish the season strong — like it did Monday’s game.
“I wouldn’t say 100%,” Jones said. “I don’t think I’ll be 100% this season. It’s a long, brutal season. Every game, you get a nick or a knack. I’m good enough to play to my best ability — and anytime I’m able to do that, I can be a problem.”