NFL

Chandler Jones, the Cardinals’ Prolific Pass-Rusher, Leaves Game With Bicep Injury

Chandler Jones, the Arizona Cardinals’ prolific sack artist, will not return to Sunday’s game against the New York Jets. 

Jones, a three-time Pro Bowler, suffered a biceps injury in the first half. A trainer walked alongside Jones to the Cardinals’ locker room. 

The Arizona Cardinals said Jones, 30, will not return.

Chandler Jones suffered a biceps injury

The potential loss of Chandler Jones for an extended period is news the Arizona Cardinals didn’t need. Jones, a first-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2012, is among the NFL’s top pass-rushers.

Jones has 98 sacks since entering the league. He entered Week 5 with only one sack this year, and none since Week 1. 

Jones recorded a career-high 19 sacks and eight forced fumbles last year. He has totaled double-digit sacks every year since 2015, his first Pro Bowl season and final campaign with the New England Patriots.

Jones will make $16 million this season, according to Over The Cap. He is under contract with Arizona through the end of the 2021 season. 

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters he expects Jones to miss the rest of the season if he tore his bicep.

Jones has had a slow start to 2020

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On the field, Chandler Jones is still playing at a strong level even if the stats aren’t there. Jones only totaled a sack, a tackle for loss, and recovered a fumble through Arizona’s four games. 

Those are far cries from the numbers he averaged in his first four seasons in Arizona. Over a 16-game pace, Jones averaged 15 sacks, four forced fumbles, 17 tackles for loss, and 25 quarterback hits. 

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury recently dismissed any concerns about Jones’ output. Kingsbury noted opposing offenses were prioritizing blocking Jones, the dynamic pass-rusher and a game-changing threat.

Arizona needs Chandler Jones healthy as soon as possible

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If Chandler Jones has to miss an extended period of time, the Cardinals will need their younger players to step up.

Arizona officially lists Kylie Pitts, who turned 26 on Sunday, as Jones’ backup at weak-side linebacker. Pitts had two tackles in Arizona’s first four games. 

Dennis Gardeck, a third-year linebacker from Sioux Falls, sacked Jets quarterback Joe Flacco and forced a fumble in the second quarter. All of Gardeck’s snaps in the Cardinals’ first four games on special teams. 

Arizona has explosive rookie Isaiah Simmons, a versatile defender who is currently playing inside linebacker. Simmons, the eighth overall pick in April’s draft, had six tackles in his four games.

Arizona plays at the Dallas Cowboys next week on Monday Night Football. Six days later, Arizona will host Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks before the bye week. 

All contract figures courtesy of Over the Cap.