As their training camp opened up last month, the Dolphins placed cornerback Byron Jones on the PUP list. Recent remarks made on his status by head coach Mike McDaniel furthered the level of uncertainty surrounding the 29-year-old.
McDaniel acknowledged, via the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, that “there is concern” with where Jones is at during his recovery. The former Pro Bowler had ankle surgery in March, a procedure which was, at the time, said to require only a two-month recovery period. Unease over the fact that the calendar has flipped to August and he has still not been able to return to the field is therefore justifiable.
McDaniel added, on the other hand, that he still expects Jones to be available for the beginning of the regular season. Assuming that happens, Miami will boast one of the best 1-2 CB tandems in the league between Jones and Xavien Howard. A contract restructure finalized by the former allowed, in part, for the substantial raise given to the latter as part of a busy offseason in South Beach.
“We’re confident [in] how he’s rehabbing; if he has a setback, then there would be concern,” McDaniel added. Jones’ progress will remain a situation worth watching in the coming weeks, given his importance to the team in the short-term. Given his scheduled cap hits of more than $18MM in 2023 and 2024, a return to full health would also be a welcomed sight for the team from a financial perspective.