Poking some fun at what could have been a serious situation, Steelers linebacker Larry Foote told reporters Monday rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones was "just going to hear from a lot of guys about how soft he is."
Jones was given a clean bill of health, although his status for Thursday's game against Carolina is still up in the air. If he doesn't play, it will be more than likely for precautionary reasons. Few have played more snaps this preseason than Jones.
It's a well-timed joke. Foote wouldn't give the rookie too much credit, as most veterans wouldn't, publicly, but "soft" could be replaced by "important" and the statement would be more fitting.
Jones has been a surprise in this training camp, despite his top pick billing. Even on the play in which he was injured, Jones was part of a turnover. If not for a penalty on that play, it would have been the third turnover in three games in which Jones had a part.
But don't mistake Foote's barbs as evidence that he doesn't care. As quoted by the Post Gazette, Foote said: "It kind of scared me when I saw [the news] going across the TV. But I texted [Jones], and he told me he was fine. I told him they don't make them how they used to make them."
The early results on Jones seems like he's a pick like the Steelers used to make, though. An impact defensive player for a team that looks like it's about to return to its playmaking ways.
Jones will be a big part of that this season.
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