Chicago Bears Meet Jarvis Jones Despite Injury Concerns
November 17, 2012; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Jarvis Jones (29) reacts to a run play against the Georgia Southern Eagles during the first half at Sanford Stadium. Georgia defeated Georgia Southern 45-14. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Bears are holding pre-draft interviews down at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and one of the latest players they’ve interviewed is Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones.
Jones is an intriguing prospect; loads of talent but a big red flag as well. Jones suffered a neck injury back in 2009 when he was a freshman at USC and has faced a long, hard road back to football.
"The injury occurred against Oregon on Halloween in 2009. By all accounts, it was a routine hit, but after staying on the turf for a few seconds, he was removed from the game. Within days, he found himself in the hospital, where a specialist told him he had a “mild” case of spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column. “I’ve seen this over and over again,” Jones remembers the doctor saying. “If you play the game long enough, things like this will happen.”The doctor told Jones he would be fine and he could play again. But the Trojans’ team doctors thought the injury was much more serious and refused to clear him for contact; they eventually recommended that Jones retire from football."
There are varying opinions on spinal stenosis and how serious it could be. It’s a condition serious enough that some teams are taking Jones off their draft boards.
Is it worth a investing a first round draft pick on a player who might not be able finish a season and could be one hit away from a forced retirement? This guy fits Jerry Angelo’s blueprint, but with Phil Emery in charge, you just don’t know. He’s taken a few risks in his limited tenure with the Bears but this is a biggie.
What do you think? With needs to fill along both lines and at tight end, should the Bears take a risk on Jones, who’s considered the #1 prospect according to draft guru Mel Kiper?