Disappointing end for Jones

A frustrating season came to an awful end Sunday for Lions running back Kevin Jones. He hobbled off the field at the end of the first half against Kansas City with a torn right anterior cruciate ligament.

A frustrating season came to an awful end Sunday for Lions running back Kevin Jones. He hobbled off the field at the end of the first half against Kansas City with a torn right anterior cruciate ligament.

Coach Rod Marinelli said Monday that doctors would wait until the swelling subsides before deciding whether to operate. But it looks as if Jones will miss the entire offseason program.

"I'm not an expert saying this or anything," Marinelli said. "I'm sure (his return) wouldn't be until training camp, I wouldn't think. But I don't know that. I'm not the doctor. They haven't done enough yet on it. They want to let the swelling come down. But, no, it's a tough break."

Jones was injured on a meaningless play in a meaningless game.

The Chiefs had just cut the Lions' lead to 19-14. Quarterback Jon Kitna had ended the Lions' last possession with an interception. The Lions were on their 20-yard line, and there were only 26 seconds left in the half.

Offensive coordinator Mike Martz called a screen pass. Jones caught the ball, and as he ran for a six-yard gain, cornerback Benny Sapp fell into his right leg.

Why didn't the Lions just take a knee?

"Well, we still had a little bit of time," Marinelli said. "You get a screen, and all of a sudden ...

"We have a great kicker, a guy who can get a nice field goal. You want to stay in the game. It was a good call to me, a nice screen."

This is the second consecutive December in which Jones has suffered a serious injury. Last year, he suffered a Lisfranc injury -- a tearing of the tissues that connect the bones in the middle of the foot.

Jones worked hard throughout the offseason and came back in the Lions' third game, earlier than many projections, but he didn't get to carry the ball much. He had only three games with 20 carries or more.

"He's fighting it every step of the way," Marinelli said. "He's sore and then tries to get himself into the game, ready to go. He's been a warrior all year now. I mean, he's been special. He's tougher than nails. It means everything to him, so you feel for the man."

Notebook:

  • Coach Rod Marinelli wasn't overjoyed with the Lions' 25-20 victory over the Chiefs even though they reached seven victories, the highest total of the seven-year Matt Millen era. The Lions still fell short of their goal: making the playoffs. "It was great to get the win last night, all those things," Marinelli said. "But you're still ... the knife is still in you. It hurts. It hurts, because my expectations are much higher."
  • Marinelli says he wants winning performances at the end, and he considers that a B grade or better. How many of those grades did the coaches give on the Kansas City game? "It was a pretty good number," Marinelli said. "I can't give you the exact, but it was a number I feel pretty encouraged with. And we've got to keep grading them hard."
  • Sunday's game means nothing to the Packers in terms of playoff positioning. They're locked into the second seed in the NFC. How many starters does Marinelli expect the Packers to play? "That I don't know, but I know one thing: Every week in the NFL is brutal," Marinelli said. "It's brutal. Every team plays and takes pride in this league. I expect them to be playing lights-out against us."

    Individual Player Notes:

  • RB Kevin Jones suffered a torn right anterior cruciate ligament Sunday against Kansas City. Coach Rod Marinelli said doctors would wait until the swelling subsided before deciding whether to operate. Jones is expected to miss the entire offseason program.
  • RB T.J. Duckett will start Sunday in Kevin Jones' place. Duckett had 15 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown against the Chiefs.
  • RB Tatum Bell will be active Sunday for the first time since Oct. 7 at Washington.
  • RT Damien Woody suffered a sprained shoulder Sunday, but he hopes to play Sunday in the season finale at Green Bay. Marinelli said the Lions would see how Woody felt Wednesday.
  • RT George Foster got a chance to play again Sunday when Damien Woody went out, but coach Rod Marinelli didn't seem impressed. He said Foster played "just OK."
  • S Gerald Alexander suffered a stinger Sunday, but the injury doesn't seem to be serious

  • Lions Report Top Stories