If all goes as planned, Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones will play Thursday night in the third preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The game also figures to be a measuring stick of sorts for Jones, who missed the second preseason game against the Buffalo Bills due to a groin injury.
In the preseason opener against the New York Giants, Jones recorded a sack, but it came at the hands of backup left tackle Charles Brown, as starter Will Beatty sat the game out with an injury. Against the Eagles Thursday night, Jones will go mano a mano against starting left tackle Jason Peters, a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro.
According to Pro Football Focus, Peters finished the 2013 regular season as their fourth-best rated left tackle. They charged him with just four sacks and 28 hurries during the season in 589 pass blocking opportunities.
In addition to being a solid pass protector, Peters is also one of the league’s best run blocking left tackles, so it will be interesting to watch how Jones is able to hold the point of attack on runs to his side of the formation.
Jones figures to play most, if not all, of the first half against the Eagles as the third preseason game is generally used as a tuneup for the regular season. A solid performance against Peters will be a welcomed sight and would give us all some hope that the former first-round draft pick out of Georgia can improve on his less-than-stellar 2013 rookie season.