The Miami Dolphins announced in late August that cornerback Byron Jones was being placed on the Reserve/PUP list after undergoing ankle surgery in the offseason.
Jones, who is entering his third year with the Dolphins, has been vital to Miami’s secondary, and the unit has struggled in his absence. It seems like defensive coordinator Josh Boyer will be without the seventh-year veteran for at least one more week, according to head coach Mike McDaniel.
“It is a big deal to put someone out there on the field, a cornerback that’s trying to perform at a high level, with a lower body extremity injury,” McDaniel said when meeting with the media on Monday. “So we’ve been judicious with it. I don’t think we’re going to see him practice this week, but we’re really just trying to do it the right way.”
The defense is allowing 256.7 passing yards, which ranks No. 25 in the league. While the unit has looked better of late, holding quarterbacks to just 215.7 passing yards per game, the unit will be without Nik Needham moving forward, who suffered a torn Achilles against the Vikings on Sunday.
For Jones, this is the first time in his career that he’s missed more than two games in a season. Miami allowed 227.7 passing yards per game last season and Jones finished the year with 10 pass breakups and opposing quarterbacks had a 62.8 completion percentage when throwing in his direction.
“It’s hard to know fully when that’s going to happen because if I gave a timeline – I’ve had a couple timelines in my head and held back from giving you those timelines, and I’ve been correct in doing so,” McDaniel said. “We’ll just be taking that week by week and watching him work in the process.”
With that said, Jones has remained active while in the building.
“He’s like a teacher these days.” safety Brandon Jones said on Monday. “[Byron is] in there when we’re watching film, when we meet as a defense and as DBs, putting his input in and asking questions and just being very involved here and dealing with what he can.”
If Jones can’t go against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, the team’s next game is Oct. 30 in Detriot. Miami won't have its bye week until Nov. 20, which is Week 11, following a home game against Cleveland on Nov. 13.