The Cardinals snapped a two-game skid to improve to 3-2, but they’ll be without a key piece of the defense moving forward. Defensive end Chandler Jones suffered a biceps injury during the win over the Jets, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury acknowledged after the game that it was “probably” season-ending.
That would indicate the team believes it’s a biceps tear. A first-round pick of the Patriots back in 2012, Jones has consistently been one of the league’s better pass-rushers in recent years. Arizona’s defense has been up and down, and the defensive front isn’t exactly overflowing with talent outside of Jones. Guys like Jordan Phillips, who has two sacks in four games, will be leaned on even more heavily to get pressure.
Jones came to the desert in a 2016 trade, and he hasn’t missed a game since. He started a perfect 69 games in a row for the Cardinals, but that streak will come to an end now. He’s had at least 11 sacks in each of his four seasons with Arizona, and he had 19 last year.
Arizona is above .500 and in the thick of the NFC playoff hunt, but skeptics would be inclined to point out two of their three wins have come against Washington and the Jets. They’ve looked bad in their two losses to the Lions and Panthers, and have been anything but steady. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph has his work cut out for him now.
As for Jones’ financial situation, he’s under contract through the 2021 season. Interestingly we just heard a couple of weeks ago that there had been no extension talks between the two sides, to the surprise of some rival executives. Jones will turn 31 in February, and it’ll be interesting to see what effect this injury has on contract discussions this offseason.
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