Here we go: Sidney Jones is going to be ACTIVATED to the Philadelphia Eagles’ 53-man roster, according to a report from NFL insider Ian Rapoport. Rapoport also specifically notes that Jones “will play” in the Eagles’ Week 17 game against the Dallas Cowboys.
UPDATE: The Eagles have officially confirmed the news.
Roster Move: #Eagles have activated CB Sidney Jones to the 53-man roster.#FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/FQm38Yi3yN— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) December 30, 2017
There was speculation Jones would be activated this week after Doug Pederson didn’t rule out the possibility.
Now let’s recap how we got to this moment.
In March, Jones suffered an Achilles injury at his pro day that caused him to fall in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Eagles, who claimed Jones was a top 10 player on their board, then selected him in the second round of the draft. From there, Jones was placed on the non-injury football injury list. He was able to spend time with the team while being on NFI but he wasn’t permitted to practice until Week 7 at the earliest. The Eagles didn’t start practicing Jones until Wednesday, Dec. 13. The Eagles then had 21 days to either activate him to the 53-man roster or keep him on NFI and shut him down for the season.
And now here we are. Jones is healthy and ready to play against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17.
It’s unclear exactly how much Jones will play ... but it sure will be great to see him make his NFL debut.
It’ll be interesting to see how much Jones can contribute to the team moving forward this season. Jalen Mills, who is dealing with an ankle injury, has struggled at times in recent weeks. It doesn’t seem likely that Jones would immediately usurp Mills, but maybe the rookie corner can steal some playing time.
With the success that rookie corners Marshon Lattimore and Tre’Davious White are having this year, you can’t entirely rule out Jones having some kind of immediate impact.
Even if the Eagles don’t heavily rely upon Jones, it’ll be nice to know he ended the 2017 season on the 53-man roster. The experience gained this season should serve him well as he competes for a starting cornerback job in 2018.
For those wondering: activating Jones now does not mean he’ll be an unrestricted free agent at the end of his rookie contract. He’s already missed too much time in 2017 for that to happen. Instead, he’ll be a restricted free agent after the 2020 season, which potentially makes it easier for the Eagles to keep him around in the long-term.