Chandler Jones has officially been placed on the non-football illness list which will keep him out for at least the next four Las Vegas Raiders games. Though it’s still unclear exactly what’s been going on with Jones, team captain and star defensive end Maxx Crosby is now more willing to discuss it.
Crosby offered up some insight on how the team is reacting to the news while also sending out a message to Jones.
“Chandler’s our brother, we love him,” Crosby told the media on September 20, per ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez. “For us, we’re focused on winning, focused on the Pittsburgh Steelers. We’re just focused on the day. That’s all we can do.”
“Honestly, in the building, it hasn’t been a distraction at all. All we do is pray for Chandler and his situation or whatever it might be and just wish him the best,” running back Josh Jacobs said. “And it is not something that people take personally or come in and be getting mad or feel like it’s a distraction. It hasn’t been a distraction in this building … just thinking of him and praying for him.”
Crosby was one of the first players Jones spoke to when he signed with the Raiders last offseason so the two have a relationship. It sounds like the team is more concerned with the veteran’s well-being than they are with getting back on the field.
Is Chandler Jones’ Season Over?
With Chandler Jones going on the NFI list, he at least has to be out for four games. It remains to be seen if he’ll return when eligible. Jones has gone through a series of social media tirades where he’s appeared to have leaked messages from owner Mark Davis and also said he doesn’t want to play for general manager Dave Zigler and head coach Josh McDaniels.
The Raiders have been taking this situation seriously as it still hasn’t been leaked to the media exactly what is happening with Jones. At this point, it’s difficult to see a scenario where the defensive end plays this season. He’s been away from the team for weeks and it’s not easy to just jump back into the fray halfway through the season. The biggest concern for the Raiders going forward is getting Jones healthy and safe.
Las Vegas Raiders Need Tyree Wilson to Step Up
First-round pick Tyree Wilson hasn’t been a great replacement for Chandler Jones so far. According to Pro Football Focus, the rookie defensive end has recorded just one pressure in two games. Ideally, the Raiders would like to see more from a player they used such a valuable pick on.
However, he did miss much of the offseason as he was recovering from an injury. Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham thinks Wilson will keep getting better as he plays.
“He’s working hard and trying to capitalize on his opportunities,” Graham said during his September 19 media availability. “I’m sure they’ll increase as the season goes on.”
Though Wilson isn’t making much of an impact right now, he’s eager to learn and improve.
“I’m just trying to learn as fast as I can,” Wilson said in his September 17 postgame press conference. “I learn from the best — Maxx [Crosby] — and I tell him to stay in my ear and ask him what he sees. And I listen to the coaches. I’m just trying to keep building as I go.”