After returning to the practice field last week, it seems as if Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones is poised for a return to the football field against the Green Bay Packers Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
Jones is still recovering from an MCL injury suffered in a collision with safety Brynden Trawick in Week 1 vs. the Denver Broncos. That hit alone has left me and a lot of other people skeptical as to what Jones’ role should be on his return to the Ravens.
Personally, I think he should be relegated to offensive duties as a wide receiver and that’s it. Baltimore has been dealing with ineffectiveness and injuries at the wide receiver and tight end positions thus far in 2013; the Ravens will take anyone at this point who could potentially provide something new to the offensive scheme, and Jacoby may be that guy.
Sure, the Lane College product isn’t the best wide receiver in terms of route-running ability and hands, but he did show some promise in Week 1 that he was honing his skills as a receiver because he knows that’s where he could make his money this season. The 29-year-old was definitely determined to prove his worth ever since the Ravens dealt wide receiver Anquan Boldin away to the San Francisco 49ers.
Baltimore has two guys at his position in Tandon Doss and Deonte Thompson who have the capabilities of returning kicks and catching passes. Why risk putting Jones in a vulnerable position once again where a silly collision could possibly end his season for good this time?
Thompson does have some injury concerns, but to me, he’s the best guy for the job as a kick returner and Doss as the punt returner. Thompson possesses top-notch speed and has been clocked at a 4.28 40 in the past. He has also demonstrated his north-south style as a runner where he doesn’t rely on cuts but his speed to the creases to help spring big gains in the return game. Doss is solid as a punt returner because he’s already taken one to the house this year but mostly because he doesn’t turn the ball over. He isn’t a guy who plays with as much of a high-risk mentality as Jones does, and while that may be boring and conservative, it’s smart and the right move for Jones’ long-term health on this football team.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has said they are going to proceed with caution with Jones and the return game, and that is what they should do.