After getting multiple opinions on his injured ankle, Colts defensive lineman Arthur Jones will require surgery to repair torn ligaments in the ankle, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links). According to Rapoport, there may also be joint damage, but that won’t be clear until the surgery.
After spending his first four NFL seasons in Baltimore, Jones signed a five-year, $33MM contract in 2014 to join the Colts, but his first year in Indianapolis was derailed by health problems — he played just nine regular season contests for the team, starting three. Now, it appears he’ll play even less in his second year with the Colts.
According to Rapoport, Jones is a candidate for the injured reserve list with the designation to return, which would sideline him for half the season, but that’s a best-case scenario. Jason Cole of Nerdy Football (Twitter link) echoes that sentiment, citing a source who says that Jones will be lucky if he only misses half the 2015 season. In other words, the 29-year-old could also simply be placed on IR without the designation to return, sidelining him for the season.
While the Colts fortified their defensive line in the offseason by signing Kendall Langford, the team may return to the free agent market or the waiver wire this week in search of more help up front, particularly if Jones is done for the year.
For Jones, the procedure on his ankle raises some questions about his long-term future in Indianapolis. In 2016, he’ll count for $5.6MM against the Colts’ cap, with that number jumping up to $7.35MM for 2017 and 2018. If the club isn’t confident he can stay on the field going forward, Jones could be released in ’16 with just $3.3MM in dead money left on Indianapolis’ cap.