Andy Jones has been a source of frustration for many fans this season. Sitting out all of training camp with an injury, it was assumed when he finally was healthy enough to be removed from the PUP list, he would simply be cut. When the Lions, instead activated him, it was a surprise, but they ended up cutting him days later. Since then, he’s been on and off the practice squad.
His reappearance has been cause for concern, however. With Golden Tate gone and Marvin Jones Jr. on IR, the Lions were in need of receiver help and brought back Jones last month. In the five games in which Jones had been active entering Sunday, he had only produced two catches for 9 yards. Sunday would change that, however.
Unsung hero of the week: WR Andy Jones
It took just one game for Andy Jones to match his career production, hauling in two catches for 9 yards, including his first career touchdown. Obviously that bar of matching his career production wasn’t high and two catches for 9 yards are not jaw-dropping numbers by any means, but it takes context to understand the importance of Jones’ performance.
Jones’ first catch was a touchdown catch in the first quarter that put the Lions up 6-0 following a botched PAT attempt. Immediately afterwards on the kickoff, Jones sped down the field and made a diving tackle right around the Buffalo 15-yard line, an astounding coverage performance on his part.
While that was about the furthest extent of Jones’ highlight reel on the day, it turned the tables in what had been a stalemate so far. While the Bills hadn’t scored, they were consistently pounding the ball downfield and it was clear the Lions were in for a scrappy game. Jones’ first career touchdown got the team visibly fired up on the field as well as the sideline, and his hustle on the ensuing kickoff set a great tone for the remainder of the game.
While that wasn’t enough for the Lions to secure the win, Jones made quite the difference instilling some tenacity into the Lions and that tenacity (on defense, at least) would keep them in the game until the last couple minutes of the fourth quarter.
With the Lions not playing for much other than pride the next couple games, Jim Bob Cooter and the offensive staff could try to get Jones more involved to see more of what he has to offer.