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Kevin Jones off the PUP!


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Why Lions put RB Jones on active roster; Shaun Rogers making progress

September 1, 2007






The Lions officially put running back Kevin Jones on the active roster Saturday so he can start practicing and, they hope, return from his foot injury earlier than he would have otherwise.


Jones will start practicing in pads Monday and will be evaluated week-to-week. Had the Lions kept him on the physically unable to perform list, he would not have counted against the 53-man roster, but he would not been allowed to practice or play for at least six weeks.


Lions officials held a conference call Friday with Dr. Bob Anderson, the surgeon who operated on Jones’s foot Dec. 13 and examined it Thursday in Charlotte, N.C.


“The biggest thing I wanted to know from the surgeon, the No. 1 thing is, will this hurt his career?” coach Rod Marinelli said. “Can he get hurt?


“The surgeon assured us all that his foot is healthy. It’s strong. There’s no risk of injury to that foot, to that surgery, at this point. None. Another six weeks, it really would make that much difference, he said. Not much.”


Marinelli met with owner William Clay Ford.


“There’s certain times I sit down with him with his wisdom,” Marinelli said. “He brought a lot of clarity to this whole situation or me, that every game counts during the season. We’ve got to evaluate every game, give ourselves every opportunity, every chance, to win every game that we can.”


Marinelli and president Matt Millen met with Jones and went over the situation with him. Then Marinelli told Jones to go home and talk to his family. Marinelli called later that evening with the Lions’ decision.


“I told him, ‘We’d like to bring you up if you feel that way – you and your family feel that way,’ ” Marinelli said. “He said, ‘We do.’ Done.”


Trying to score a touchdown Dec. 10 against Minnesota, Jones suffered a Lisfranc injury -- a tearing of the tissues that connect the bones in the middle of his foot.


For months, amid reports and rumors that Jones would miss much of the 2007 season, Jones rehabbed with the goal of returning for the regular-season opener Sept. 9 at Oakland. He even sought unconventional heat acupuncture therapy in an Asian man’s basement in Saline.


Anderson told Jones on Thursday that he recommended Jones remain on the PUP list, according to a person familiar with the situation.


“I never heard that,” Marinelli said.


But the person also said Anderson felt the foot was fine; he was concerned Jones could suffer other injuries because he had been unable to practice and wasn’t in game shape.


And that’s why the Lions want to return Jones to practice as soon as possible – so he can get into game shape and play as soon as possible. Had he stayed on PUP, he would not have been able to play as soon as he was eligible, Oct. 21 against Tampa Bay. He would have had to practice for a while first.


Marinelli said he didn’t mind using a roster spot on Jones because only 45 players can dress for a game anyway.


“To me, it’s like a padded PUP,” Marinelli said. “We still have a plan for him. But we’re able to now get him into full pads. …


“What this allows us to do is now get him into football condition. What happens, if you wait the next six weeks and now you put him in pads, he’s still not ready. You think, ‘Oh, six weeks up, he’s ready to play.’ Well, you’re not ready to play.

“You’ve got to get in pads. You’ve got to get in physical hitting condition. You have not been to a walkthough. You have not run a play. You have not taken a handoff. You have not caught the ball. So now I think we’ve got a chance to really make some progress with him.”


It’s still going to be touchy.


“One thing the surgeon said, there’ll be up days and down days,” Marinelli said. “There’s days you push it, it’s going to get swollen. It’s going to hurt. Then there’ll be days it’s going to feel great, and you think, ‘I’m ready to go,’ and you still may not be yet.”


Marinelli said ultimately it would be up to Jones to decide when he is ready to play.

“This is the part that’s the toughest, I think,” Marinelli said. “He could have a Thursday where he feels great, the doctor says. And he feels good, and he can have a long downturn from that. …


“If it’s too early, you just back off him and just continue what we’ve done in PUP. His health is the No. 1 issue here.”


NOTEBOOK: Defensive tackle Shaun Rogers didn’t play in the exhibition season because of a knee problem. But he has gone through three padded and four non-padded practices and should be ready for Oakland.


“He’s making the progress I want,” Marinelli said. “We get three more padded practices this week, so I feel good with where he’s at and I think we’re doing the very best we can to get him ready to be the type of player he’s going to be.”…


Fullback Jon Bradley’s right shoulder popped out in Thursday night’s exhibition finale against Buffalo, but it popped back in and he didn’t lose any strength, Marinelli said. “Right now it looks like he has a chance to be OK.”…


Backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky (turf toe) is scheduled to get his walking boot off, Marinelli said. …


The Lions will announce their cuts later today. But wide receiver Kevin Kasper left the building carrying a cardboard box. Wide receiver Ron Bellamy and cornerback Ramzee Robinson said the Lions wanted to sign them to the practice squad. The Lions can start signing players to the practice squad Sunday.



Also - not rulling him out for opener



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