DE Jason Jones begins running next month and is looking forward to 2014

Posted Jan 6, 2014

The Lions defense missed Jason Jones' versatility as both an edge and inside rusher in 2013

It’s not a matter of if injuries are going to happen in the NFL, but a matter of when.

Jason JonesDE Jason Jones (Photo: AP Images)

The Lions, like all 32 teams, had their fair share of injuries this year, but none might have been more costly than losing versatile defensive end Jason Jones to a ruptured patellar tendon in Week 3.

Jones was a first-day free agent signing for the Lions, who planned on using him as a multipurpose rusher from both the inside and outside.

Jones dealt with knee pain through training camp and the first part of the regular season, missing a lot of practice time because of it. That pain and the injury that ended his season weren’t related, however.

Jones was in Allen Park cleaning out his locker last Monday, just like the rest of his teammates, and said his recovery is on schedule.

“In another month I’ll be back on the field running and stuff like that so my recovery is going well,” Jones said.

He’s planning on sticking around Detroit through February to continue his rehab and then will head back to Nashville, where he still has a home, to spend time with his newborn child in March until the offseason training program begins.

Jones said he expects to be 100 percent ready to go when the Lions begin training camp in July.

His injury prompted more playing time for Willie Young. The fourth-year veteran started 15 games his year, had a career-high 47 tackles and matched his season-high with three sacks. Young is an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Rookie fourth-round pick Devin Taylor also saw his role increase because of Jones’ injury and he showed he has a bright future after recording 2.5 sacks and forced two fumbles.

The Lions will benefit in the long run from Taylor getting on the field as much as he did this year because of Jones’ injury, but they’ll certainly look forward to getting Jones back on the field in 2014.