Pittsburgh Steelers rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones has developed very fast during the offseason, but the sprain that he suffered to his chest might just prevent him from becoming the starter at right outside linebacker for a few more weeks, according to head coach Mike Tomlin.
“He was until the injury,” Tomlin said when asked if the first-round draft was in the running to be the starter. “When and how he comes back from that will dictate that. We have been excited about what he has done to this point and the potential upside in his game in the future.”
While it is just a matter of when and not if Jones becomes the starter, it’s obvious that the coaching staff is happy with his progress up until this point. While he has yet to register a sack during the preseason, the football magnet inside of Jones has resulted in him forcing one fumble, recovering another fumble and intercepting a deflected pass that was ultimately negated by a penalty. Those qualities certainly can’t be ignored, and he should only get better as a pass rusher.
Jones will not play Thursday night in the preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers, but that’s not surprising due to the nature of his injury. He has shown enough during the preseason and in the process is making the teams that decided to pass on him in the 2013 NFL Draft look foolish right now.