Defensive tackle Arthur Jones will returns to the Indianapolis Colts this week after serving his four-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. What type of impact will his return have on the team?
In 2014, the Colts signed Jones to a five-year, $33 million deal. The Colts are still waiting for an adequate return on this investment.
So far, Jones’ tenure with the Colts has been marred by injuries, inconsistent play and his recent PED suspension. In three years with the team, Jones has only suited up in nine regular season games and three postseason contests.
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The last meaningful game he played in was against the New England Patriots in the 2014 AFC Championship game.
He has only accumulated 45 total tackles and 1.5 sacks in the regular season and postseason combined as a Colt. Indianapolis desperately needs more production from him when he takes the field for them against the Chicago Bears on October 9.
Personnel-wise, Jones’ return could cause a shake-up in the Colts’ defensive line. They have six defensive linemen currently on the roster: Henry Anderson, David Parry, Kendall Langford, Zach Kerr, T.Y. McGill, and Hassan Ridgeway.
The Colts will probably need to cut one of these six guys to make room for Jones on their 53-man active roster.
As of right now, McGill appears to be the guy the Colts would end up cutting if they needed to clear room for Jones. Despite being a preseason standout, McGill has not registered a sack or a tackle this season. He has also been inactive for the past two games.
There is the possibility the Colts will add Jones to their roster without dropping a defensive tackle. However, it is not very likely because defensive linemen are not usually special teams contributors. They would rather keep a special teams player than carry a seventh defensive lineman.
The return of Arthur Jones could go two ways for the Colts: 1) Jones plays like a top-level player, or 2) he becomes an even bigger disappointment for the team by struggling to make plays.
Either way, this is probably Jones’ last chance in Indianapolis so he better make it count.