After being selected 43rd overall in the 2017 draft, Sidney Jones has quietly been pacing the sidelines and watching his team rack up victory after victory. However, the rookie cornerback could soon see the field for the first time at the NFL level.
Jones tore his Achilles tendon in a pre-draft workout during Washington’s Pro-Day just five weeks before the NFL draft in Philadelphia. The setback caused him to slide down team draft boards across the league but was eventually scooped up in the second round by the Eagles. Now 14 weeks into the season, the hungry rookie is ready to practice in full for the first time this year according to the team.
Sidney Jones was a freak at Washington and was thought of as the number two cornerback coming out of college behind New Orleans’ rookie Marshon Lattimore (who, by the way, is the leading candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year). However, the problem for Jones will be trying to find playing time in the defensive backfield.
The Eagles are now five spots deep at the cornerback position with the return of Ronald Darby and Malcolm Jenkins often dropping down in coverage. Jalen Mills has taken a giant leap forward this season, Patrick Robinson has filled the slot corner role incredibly well and even fellow rookie Rasul Douglas has found his way into the rotation. Even though Sidney Jones could possibly be the most talented defensive back on the roster, he will have a tough time stealing snaps from the veterans who have NFL experience – especially when the team is 11-2.
While Jones continues to get into “football shape”, it would not be surprising to see him get worked into a limited role over the final 3 games of the regular season as the Eagles face teams with a combined 15-24 record.
Eagles fans have been foaming at the mouth to see Jones out there in midnight green, but unluckily for the man himself, he’s going to have to earn snaps in a crowded backfield. Some garbage time experience could go a long way for the rookie (if provided) as he’ll be able to showcase how far he has come in his rehab. For weeks he has focused his energy and time in the classroom, studying the playbook and film. Now it is time to prove his worth between the lines.
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