In a bit of a surprising move, the Colts have activated defensive end Arthur Jones from the Exempt/Commissioner Permission list, reports Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star (via Twitter). It was expected that coach Chuck Pagano would wait at least another week to add the veteran to the active roster. Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star wrote earlier this week that Jones wasn’t expected to play this weekend.
“We’ll make the smartest decision that’s best for this team and what’s best for Art,” Pagano said at the time. “I just don’t want to throw him out there without some time to task.”
The 30-year-old was suspended for the first four games of the season after violating the league’s PED policy. This was just the latest setback for Jones, who originally joined the Colts on a five-year, $33MM deal in 2014. Following four productive seasons with the Ravens, the veteran’s first season in Indy was a disappointment. The defense end finished the 2014 season with only 23 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble in nine games (three starts). Jones ended up tearing ligaments in his ankle prior to the 2015 season, sitting him out for the entire campaign. The franchise ultimately reworked the defensive end’s contract, reducing his 2016 salary from $4.5MM to $2.5MM.
As Keefer detailed, this may be the final opportunity for Jones to prove that he belongs in the organization… and perhaps even the NFL.
“I just have to do my job,” Jones said. “And by that (I mean) staying on the field. You get hurt. When you play football long enough, things will happen. I never thought it was because of my ability. It just wasn’t my time, I guess. Everything happens for a reason.”
Jones currently doesn’t project to be any more than the Colts’ second-string defensive end. As Roster Resource details, the veteran will presumably compete with rookie Hassan Ridgeway for the opportunity to back up starters Kendall Langford and Henry Anderson.