As we mentioned earlier, the NFL announced today that Colts defensive lineman Arthur Jones was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 regular season for performance enhancing drugs.
Jones wasn’t projected to be a starter anyway and has missed the past two seasons due to injury, so it’s fair to wonder about his future with the Colts. According to the Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder, Jones is on “very, very shaky ground,” though no decision is expected to come immediately.
There’s not much reason for the Colts to rush on the decision, as with a 90-man roster entering training camp it’s probably at least worth seeing whether he can get healthy and produce in camp and preseason. After that, the Colts will have a better idea of what Jones can do and whether he’s actually worth keeping around or not.
It wouldn’t be a surprise whatsoever to see the Colts ultimately move on from Jones, however, whether that’s before camp or after. He was the team’s biggest free agent signing in 2014 but has since failed to produce. In 2014, he missed the bulk of the season with an injury, one that impacted him even when he returned and essentially amounted to a lost season. In 2015, Jones returned healthy for training camp but was injured during the preseason, suffering a season-ending ankle injury. Jones didn’t participate in the offseason program and is still recovering from the injury, though the Colts are hopeful he’ll be healthy enough to get on the field for the start of camp. So now with the four game suspension added on top of all of that, there should be nobody surprised that Jones is on shaky ground. In fact, many people expected him to be released earlier this offseason, which didn’t happen due to him taking a paycut.
Nobody should be surprised if Arthur Jones winds up being cut, though it doesn’t make a ton of sense for the Colts to cut him before training camp starts. Instead, they could begin camp with Jones to see what he can do, while realizing that his status with the team is very much uncertain.