Updates from Monday, August 4
Jones returned to Falcons headquarters in Flowery Branch on Sunday night and Smith said that he's now in the league's concussion protocol.
Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle Terren Jones suffered what looked to be a severe injury during the team's training camp practice Sunday.
Fox Sports 1's Alex Marvez reported on the ominous situation:
Scary moment at @Atlanta_Falcons camp: OL Terren Jones is being taped to stretcher after head/neck injury in practice. Rolled off field— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) August 3, 2014
D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provided more details on Jones' status:
They took Jones off on a back board on the back of a golf cart, neck in a brace. There's an ambulance waiting on the curb.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) August 3, 2014
No thumbs up from Jones when the cart came by. His eyes were closed and he's being loaded into the ambulance right now.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) August 3, 2014
Ambulance carrying Terren Jones just left the #Falcons facility with it's sirens on.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) August 3, 2014
Following practice, head coach Mike Smith was unable to update Jones' condition (via the Falcons):
Coach Smith: We certainly hope Terren (Jones) will be alright. No updates at this time. #aftc14— Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) August 3, 2014
The Associated Press' Charles Odum weighed in on the impact of Sunday's physical practice:
#Falcons' full-pads practice taking a toll. OT Terren Jones carted off on stretcher. DE Ra'Shede Hageman left with hand injury earlier.— Charles Odum (@CharlesOdum) August 3, 2014
Jones was an undrafted free agent out of Alabama State who worked his way onto the 53-man roster last season. Falcons head coach Mike Smith offered his praise of Jones' work ethic and how he made his way into football shape, as per a November 2013 report by Ledbetter:
Terren has done a nice job. He’s a big guy that’s worked extremely hard. He came in as a 380 pound guy that probably needed to lose some weight. We put him on a very strict (diet) and he’s done that. He’s well below that. He has some skills that we like. We’ll get an opportunity to evaluate him over these next five weeks.
Atlanta ranked last in the NFL in rushing offense and saw franchise quarterback Matt Ryan take a beating last year. That prompted general manager Thomas Dimitroff to select offensive tackle Jake Matthews with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2014 draft.
Depth on the offensive line is something the Falcons could have used in any capacity. Thus, losing Jones was already going to be difficult—but doing so in this scary fashion is particularly difficult to process.
What's most important is that Jones makes a recovery. The initial reports from Falcons camp suggest this is a serious injury. For a player with immense talent and an evident drive to succeed, the hope is that Jones is able to return and keep chasing his NFL dream.