On The Dan Dakich Show on 1070 “The Fan”, Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said Friday afternoon that he really hopes that defensive lineman Arthur Jones actually plays next season, having missed last season with a season-ending ankle injury and his Colts tenure as a whole hampered by injuries:
"“I sure as heck hope so because a healthy Art Jones makes an impact,” responded Grigson if Art Jones will play next season. “It makes an impact on the stat sheet. It makes an impact on how our defense plays, and he’s a difference-maker. He’s a big dude. That I’ve loved since he was a junior in college. He’s a heck of a player. He’s got to just stay healthy.”"
The 29 year old was originally signed to a lucrative 5-year, $33 million contract by the Colts in the 2014 offseason, but so far, he hasn’t been able to stay on the field long enough to make much of an impact.
Having dealt with ankle injuries over the past two seasons, Jones has played in just 9 games (3 starts) for the Colts. As such, he was recently named the team’s “absolute worst contract“.
That being said, the 6’3″, 337 pound has been a difference-maker for the Colts defensive line when actually healthy. He has the rare combination of size, strength, and athletic ability that few defensive lineman in the league actually possess.
If healthy, he figures to be a tremendous run stuffer along the team’s defensive line going forward.
The Colts would only save a meager $2.3M by releasing Jones this offseason, and by all indications, it seems like Grigson and the front office want him to return with the team. That way, he can finally show what he can do when healthy for an entire season.
One thing of note that Grigson said is that the team’s trainers are trying to get the naturally strong Jones into the weight room a little more, which theoretically could help prevent future injuries.
It’s not that Jones is lazy by any means, but having grown up with brothers such as UFC’s Jon Jones and the New England Patriots Chandler Jones, he’s always enjoyed “wrestling” more than necessarily “lifting weights” when push comes to shove:
"“That’s the thing about Art,” added Grigson. “We’re trying to get him to like the weight room a little more, but he’s one of those guys that’s a functionally strong wrestler type that can play on a bad knee that has just natural balance points from all the wrestling he’s done. He may not look like it, but his core is really strong from all of the wrestling he’s done.”“Sorry Art, if you’re listening though.”"
With Henry Anderson coming back from a torn ACL, the Colts could use Jones as veteran insurance and presumably as a starter, as the 7-year veteran can play nose tackle and all along the team’s defensive line.