The Las Vegas Raiders are officially down a key player in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos as Chandler Jones has been ruled out due to personal reasons. It’s unclear what exactly is happening with Jones following a string of now-deleted Instagram posts where he suggested he would not play for the team again if Josh McDaniels remains head coach and Dave Ziegler remains general manager.
The veteran defensive end has been away from the team all week but the Raiders have remained mum on what exactly is going on. Though Jones is having issues with the team, he did state that he wanted to play this week against the Broncos. The Raiders decided against having him play but he still made sure to send out a message of support on his X account.
“Gunna miss playing with my warriors tomorrow! Y’all boys hold it down! #BeatBroncos,” Jones wrote in the September 9 post.
Jones is one of the oldest players on the team at 33 years old and is a respected veteran. His absence will likely be felt in the Raiders’ opener against Denver.
What’s Next for Chandler Jones?
The biggest question facing the Raiders is what’s going to happen with Chandler Jones. They can’t outright cut him without dealing with a $25.85 million dead cap hit, per Spotrac. With little knowledge about what exactly is happening with Jones, it’s difficult to know what the correct step would be.
Jones has known Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels since he first entered the league with the New England Patriots in 2012. Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham was also with the Patriots when he was a rookie. They all decided to bring Jones in on a big contract and he didn’t have a lot of things to be concerned about in his background.
It’s unclear how the Raiders will handle the situation going forward. They’re paying him a lot of money so not having him on the field is an issue. A suspension could be possible but that would depend on what he’s done. It’s hard to imagine Jones has much trade value right now. This is going to be a situation to watch closely next week. If Jones stays quiet on social media but remains away from the team, that would be indicative of a potentially larger problem.
Brandon Facyson Sent to IR
Chandler Jones isn’t the only veteran defender the Raiders won’t have on Sunday. Cornerback Brandon Facyson has been banged up much of the offseason and the team is going to give him some time to recover. The Raiders announced on September 8 that Facyson is headed to the Reserve/Injured List.
This means that Facyson will be out for at least four weeks and potentially longer as he recovers from a shin injury. This is Facyson’s second stint with the Raiders and he’s a valuable special teams contributor. His absence shouldn’t have a major effect on the defense as he was either the fourth or fifth cornerback on the depth chart. However, he does bring value due to his ability on special teams. The Raiders haven’t revealed if they expect him to be out for more than the four-week minimum.