After suffering a Lisfranc injury in December, the status of Lions running back Kevin Jones has been up in the air for the 2007 season. Originally, after surgery was done following the injury, most expected Jones to be out for a considerable amount of time. The exact length was and is still unknown, but the hopeful pinpoint was training camp this summer. However, a report from NFL.com's Adam Schefter brings some possible troubling news, stating that Jones will be out until the midpoint of the 2007 regular season, according to sources.
Up until now, there had been questions surrounding when Jones might be able to return. Now the Lions are hoping Jones will be able to return six to eight weeks into the 2007 season, which means that Detroit must revise its offseason priorities.
A running back now moves near the top of the list of Detroit's needs. The Lions will explore the free-agent market and take a look at San Diego's restricted free-agent running back Michael Turner and Arizona's unrestricted free-agent running back Marcel Shipp.
The Lions, scheduled to pick second in the April NFL draft, also like Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson, and will debate picking him there. But Detroit does have concerns about Peterson's durability and injury history, which could cause them to lean towards taking Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas.
Before you all start to think, "here we go again," read what Tom Kowalski has to say about this report. He strongly refutes it, and personally, I would think more of what he has to say considering he is likely closer to the situation than Schefter.
Jones just returned from two weeks in Florida, partly to take part in some of the Super Bowl activities. Jones remains in a boot, but has already started the early process of his rehabilitation. He is right on schedule to return for the start of training camp in July.
What Kowalski said leads me to believe that Adam Schefter is indeed wrong about Kevin Jones. I would be willing to bet that Jones doesn't return for training camp, but as of right now, it appears he will be ready for the 2007 season. Plus, Schefter was wrong about thinking Millen would be out after this past season.
It is very evident that the Lions will be looking for a running back this offseason, simply as an insurance policy. Whether that means signing a veteran or a back that is just available, Detroit will probably get one either way. I wouldn't expect Detroit to draft Adrian Peterson though. He'd have to really show something that is far superior to other draft entrants for the Lions to make that selection.
Kevin Jones is really entering some shady territory as far as his career in Detroit. If he does return from this injury and is successful, then there isn't really anything to worry about. But on the other hand, if Jones doesn't return at full strength or simply isn't good enough, questions will certainly arise regarding who Detroit's starting running back is. For now however, let's just hope Jones gets back for 2007 and is successful. When Jones plays well, Detroit does the same.