Second-year cover guy Chris Jones is vying to replace the suspended Patrick Peterson in the Arizona Cardinals defensive backfield
It’s been over two months now since fans of the Arizona Cardinals received some alarming news. The announcement that Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson will miss the first six games of 2019 sent shock waves through the organization as well. Performance-enhancing drugs are a no-no in the NFL, and now the Cards must elect a temporary replacement for the outstanding Peterson.
We’ve all heard the names of the candidates who’ve been mentioned for the gig. Second-round draft pick Byron Murphy, the 33rd-overall selection, appears to be the favorite. Free agent pickup Tramaine Brock, who’s entering his 10th professional campaign, is also looking to earn the assignment.
But while those two cover guys appear to be the front-runners for the job, head coach Kliff Kingsbury has thrown another name into the mix. It looks like second-year player Chris Jones, who has remained relatively anonymous up until this point, will also be given a shot. How much of a chance the inexperienced 23-year old actually has of seizing this opportunity is up for debate.
Jones entered the league as an undrafted free agent of the Detroit Lions in 2018. The former University of Nebraska product failed to make the team, however, and was waived on September 1st. It didn’t take long for the talented Jones to resurface following that disappointment.
Two days after his release from the Lions, Jones was signed to Arizona’s practice squad. The rookie’s dream came true on November 20th, when he was promoted to the club’s active roster. Jones suited up for two regular-season contests last season, a number he’ll obviously be looking to expand on this coming fall.
In four years with the Cornhuskers (2014-17), Jones appeared in 34 matchups. The 6’0, 200 pounder totaled 76 tackles, five interceptions, 16 passes defensed and two sacks during that time. In October of 2016, Jones turned a pick into a 33-yard touchdown against the University of Indiana.
Apparently, Jones has impressed the Cardinals this offseason. The fact that Kingsbury brought him up as a possibility for a starting spot indicates that the coaching staff has taken notice of the youngster. Perhaps a strong showing this summer is all that Jones will need to secure a significant role in the Cards secondary this coming fall.