Cardinals’ Chandler Jones ‘in a really good place’ after COVID-19 bout

Nov 5, 2021, 4:15 PM
Arizona Cardinals LB Chandler Jones looks on during training camp Sunday, August 15, 2021, in Glend...
Arizona Cardinals LB Chandler Jones looks on during training camp Sunday, August 15, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE — Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones may not have been present for Arizona’s win over the Houston Texans in Week 7, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t getting reps in elsewhere as he worked his way back to playing shape after a bout with COVID-19.

Taking part in a simulated game at the team’s training facility that featured 50 different reps grew Jones’ confidence after the two-week layover. For the linebacker, that was his “checkmark” signaling his return to the team.

Nothing compares to a real NFL game, however.

“You can only simulate a game by actually going through a game. … It’s nothing like a game,” Jones said Friday. “You have pads on, you have a helmet on. You lose a little bit of weight from COVID. Your biggest thing is trying to gain that weight back, trying to get muscle mass back. You can’t put it on in two days, it takes a little bit of time.

“There’s nothing like getting that first game out there and getting my toes under me and kinda getting that feel back. … That was a week fully of sitting on the couch. I was still working out a little bit when I was still positive but other than that was actually just being out there and playing.”

While Jones is back among his teammates, he is still getting his taste and smell back fully. The linebacker is also about two pounds shy of getting back to his original weight.

Losing around seven pounds due to sickness can take its toll on a body. Jones, though, is taking the good with the bad.

“I didn’t lose 15 pounds, I’ll tell you that,” Jones said refuting FOX’s Jay Glazer’s report. “I even feel faster since gaining that weight back. Maybe I lost it in the right places.

“I don’t even document me as losing weight. … I feel fine, honestly,” Jones added. “I came into this season well into shape, prepared to play outside linebacker nd that’s what I’m still playing. I feel pretty good. I feel really good.”

As far as his work on the field, Jones is still sitting at five sacks thanks to his Week 1 outburst against the Tennessee Titans.

Jones will be the first person to tell you he’s not frustrated with the sack lull over the past five games he’s played. Sacks aren’t everything.

Aside from his five QB takedowns, Jones has recorded 14 QB hits and five tackles for loss. Any disruption is a win in the defense’s book.

“Sacks are the last thing on my mind,” Jones said. “Where I am right now, I am at five sacks, that’s incredible to have in one game. … But where I’m at, I’m in a good place. … I’m in a really good place.

“I think we’re gonna be fine. I’m gonna be fine and I think we just need to relax and do what we’re here to do.”

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