Another ankle sprain has Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Arthur Jones meeting with a specialist, according to numerous reports.
And the Colts are holding their breath about one of the most important players in their run defense.
Jones sprained his left ankle on the first play of Saturday's 24-14 preseason victory at St. Louis. He tried to continue for one more play, then had to exit. By game's end, he was limping around in a walking boot.
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said Sunday he was still awaiting word from doctors, but numerous media outlets including ESPN and NFL Media reported Jones was seeing a specialist after initial X-rays on the ankle came back negative.
The sixth-year pro was never the same after suffering a right high ankle sprain last season, his first year with the Colts after signing a five-year, $33-million deal in 2013. He started just three of nine games played in the regular season.
How important is the 6-3, 320-pound Jones? Consider that his cap hit is $7.1 million, which is more than quarterback Andrew Luck's $7,034,363. And the Colts are already committed to another player for a lot of money who hasn't played in a year -- outside linebacker Robert Mathis is scheduled to count $7,470,586.
Bolstering the Colts' run defense was supposed to be one of the team's utmost offseason priorities after New England ran roughshod over Indy in January's 45-7 AFC Championship Game rout at Foxborough, Mass. The Colts signed outside linebacker Trent Cole, defensive end Kendall Langford, inside linebacker Nate Irving and safety Dwight Lowery, then added five more defensive players in the draft.
Jones, 29, was originally a fifth-round draft choice by the Baltimore Ravens in 2010. He eventually worked his way into the starting lineup with 13 starts in 2013, which allowed him to score the lucrative free-agent contract with the Colts, where he was reunited with Pagano, formerly the Ravens' defensive coordinator. Jones was also playing again with his former mentor, defensive end Cory Redding, a Colts team leader through last season.
The Colts have a Thursday preseason finale against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lucas Oil Stadium before making final roster cuts and, if necessary, any physically unable to perform (PUP) list designations by 4 p.m. EDT Tuesday.