Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
After he failed to work out at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, many believed a neck condition would prevent a highly touted prospect from joining the professional ranks. Now, medical professionals are denying those claims.
Let the "Moans for Jones" continue.
Jarvis Jones has been widely considered one the best defensive prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft pool coming out of Georgia, although his draft stock has been deflated through rumors about spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal, preventing him from having a long professional career. Both Jones and his doctors continue to insist this is not the case.
After Jones declined the opportunity to work out at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, many made the connection to his medical condition and the unlikelihood of his longevity. Now, doctors are insisting his condition is not as severe as originally hypothesized.
The largest concern with Jones dealt with the possibility of suffering a career- or life-threatening injury should he continue to play tackle football. Jones disagrees.
"The doctor said I was fine and cleared me and the combine went fine for me. I was cleared medically. Teams know my situation. Everything went great. I did everything they asked me to do. I’ll have my pro day, and then I’m going to meet with a whole lot of teams."
"I’m going to continue to do what I can to protect myself. I’ve got to be in the weight room more, to keep building up my neck, keep building up my shoulders. There are some great doctors out there. They know if I shouldn’t be playing this game, I should’ve stopped a long time ago. Because my MRIs, from the day it happened to today, it hasn’t gotten any worse. It still looks the same. So that’s good."
According to the orthopedist who examined Jones, the true nature of his condition was "either had a very mild incident of spinal cord concussion or merely a stinger that has long since resolved." Severe injury is no longer any greater of a threat than any other player risks when stepping onto an NFL field.
Jones is still expected to be a top-ten selection. He will undoubtedly undergo innumerable tests before the draft. Despite this new found confidence, team's may still view him as a risk. The Pittsburgh Steelers will be actively searching for a replacement to recently released James Harrison. It is unknown whether the Steelers would take a chance on Jones should he fall to their 17th overall pick.
Should 16 teams decide he is not worth the gamble, the Moans for Jones in Pittsburgh may just get exactly what they've been asking for.