Injured safety Jones not done yet
Friday, August 13, 2004
Tony Grossi
Plain Dealer Reporter

Could rookie safety Sean Jones be ready to play late this year, after all?

When Jones tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in a quarterback school workout in June, the club did not disagree with reports that Jones was out for the season.

Now coach Butch Davis will not rule out Jones making it all the way at some point this year.

Davis said on NFL Network's "Total Access" on Wednesday night that Jones could be a candidate for the physically unable to perform (PUP) list when the regular season opens.

That would reserve an opportunity to make Jones active at some point after the sixth week. The Browns would have until the ninth week to activate a 21-day window to determine Jones' eligibility.

It's the same method by which running back Lee Suggs was able to play last year after opening the season on the PUP list after shoulder surgery. Suggs was activated for the 10th game and stole the No. 1 running back job with a 186-yard rushing day in the 16th game.

"At this stage, everybody's a candidate [for PUP] that didn't originally pass the physical," Davis said Thursday. "You really don't know until we get down to the 53 [roster cutdown], and then the doctors predominantly guide that.

"If the doctors say there's absolutely no way he's going to be back, and if they say there might be some hope, we'll judge it then."

Jones, drafted in the second round from Georgia, was considered a candidate to press for a starting safety spot at some point his rookie season before his injury.

Jones had surgery on the knee July 1. He said it was described to him as a six- to nine-month rehabilitation period, which would take him into January at the earliest. But team doctors were encouraged that he was ahead of that schedule.