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Jaguars safety Josh Jones emerges from his 'dark place' to earn starting safety job

By Gary Smits, The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.) on

Published in Football

Jones backed up Morgan Burnett at strong safety to begin the 2017 season and eventually had seven starts. His first start was in a 27-24 overtime victory over Cincinnati when he had 11 solo tackles and one sack.

Jones had 71 tackles, two sacks and broke up five passes. Despite that, he began the 2018 season behind Kentrell Brice, then was slowed by an ankle injury. Jones eventually made five starts and had 56 tackles.

Here's where the story gets murky. Reports in the Green Bay media suggested Jones had trouble covering deep passes and he wasn't thrilled when Packers coordinator Mike Pettine began using him in the box as an extra inside linebacker.

Jones reportedly asked for a trade after the Packers made two moves at safety in the 2019 off-season, signing Adrian Amos in free agency and trading up late in the first round to grab Darnell Savage.

Jones didn't attend OTAs. He reported for mini-camp but was limited because of a hamstring injury.

Jones then tangled with coach Matt LeFleur early in training camp when he got into a scuffle with running back Tra Carson, breaking a rule LeFleur had set down in his first season banning any fights.

 

LeFleur kicked Jones out of practice but admitted to reporters after the practice that he didn't have the best view of the incident.

"You guys probably had a better vantage point than I did," he said. "I mean, I'm well behind the play and sometimes your vision gets a little cloudy just with all those bodies in there."

Jones couldn't make any further dent on the depth chart during training camp and was waived on Aug. 25, 2019, for what the Packers said was a "non-football Illness."

Jones said there was nothing wrong with him.

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