An upbeat Jones, dressed in street clothes and on crutches, watched from the sideline at Doak Campbell Stadium as the Seminoles (6-3, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) continued preparations for their Saturday showdown at Georgia Tech (6-3, 3-3). Kickoff is 3:30 p.m.
"Everyone's thinking I am down but I am not down, more disappointed than down,' Jones said and smiled. "Everything happens for a reason. I'll just come back next year and get my knee stronger and be ready for next year, that's all."
Jones tore his anterior cruciate ligament and injured his medial collateral ligament in the Seminoles' 34-21 win at Wake Forest last Saturday. The 240-pound junior tailback from Beaufort, S.C., averaged 104.2 yards a game, running for 938 yards and eight touchdowns. He was just 62 yards shy of becoming the eighth 1,000-yard rusher in school history.
Jones said he showed for practice because he "missed his teammates." He also said he's thankful for the outpouring of support from coaches, teammates and classmates.
"I just wanted to come out here -- I miss it and I wanted to see what's going on," Jones said. "I wish them luck this weekend and I know they are going be successful for the rest of the season. It has been tough but I will be alright."
Jones also addressed a burning question among FSU fans: Why did he reenter the game after coming out with a sore right knee in the first half? Jones left for good when his knee buckled on a run up the middle in the second half. Additionally, he also shed a protective knee brace for a support sleeve at halftime.
FSU players - Jones included - have also complained about the poor condition of the stadium turf at Wake Forest. Jones, however, did not blame his injury on the field conditions.
"If I had to do it again, I would probably go back in," Jones said. "That's just wanting to play the game. It happens to everybody. I guess it was just meant to be. You can't avoid it. It's part of the game. It just happens."
Jones also said his surgery could come sooner than three weeks as originally scheduled since the swelling to his knee has subsided. His goal is to return for the start of two-a-days next summer. For the time being, however, Jones plans to cheer for his team. He will be replaced in the lineup by senior Nick Maddox, who rushed for a career-high 122 yards against the Demon Deacons.
"I'm going to be alright. I'm going to survive," Jones said. "I'll be back next year and hopefully have another good year next year."