Sidney Jones has been cleared to play Sunday and knows this might be his last chance to impress. The third-year cornerback has been in the cross-hairs for not living up to expectations.
Jones has heard all the talk, even some disparaging comments from his head coach. He’s done listening and ready to answer with his play on the field. He doesn’t care what the outsiders think about him. He’s not a bust.
“It is what it is,” Jones told reporters Friday. “I can’t do anything about anyone else’s opinion. That’s their opinion, they’re entitled to it. I block it out. I have to move on with my life and take it for what it is and get back healthy and stay on the field and produce.”
The former second-round draft pick out of Washington has been penciled in to start this week in Minnesota. He’ll likely draw an intriguing match-up on Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs, assuming the Eagles put their best cornerback (Rasul Douglas) on Adam Theilen. Diggs can flat-out run, so Jones better be prepared to test an injured hamstring that kept him out last week.
“It’s been a real improved week compared to last week,” said Jones. “I’m in a way better position than I was last week, so I feel confident.”
It’s been an up and down year for Jones on the field, mostly down. He was getting beat pretty badly in Green Bay until he pulled his hamstring and was removed from the game. Don’t think for a second that Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins won’t be picking on him early and often in this one.
Doug Pederson Called Out Sidney Jones
Earlier in the week, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson seemed to take a shot at Sidney Jones’ conditioning and commitment to the team. He told reporters the injured cornerback needed to “breakthrough” the pain threshold.
On Friday, Pederson clarified those comments and added that Jones got the message loud and clear. He has been impressed with the way Jones responded and expects him to lock it down against the Vikings.
“What he’s done this week, he’s really pushed himself in practice, he’s challenged himself, and I’ve seen that with him,” Pederson told reporters. “That’s the part that I’m probably most proud of with him.”
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