Updates from Sunday, Sept. 21
ESPN's Coley Harvey confirms Marvin Jones' status for Week 3:
#Bengals inactives RB Rex Burkhead CB Chris Lewis-Harris LB Vontaze Burfict LB Sean Porter OG Kevin Zeitler WR Marvin Jones Brandon Thompson— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) September 21, 2014
Updates from Sunday, Sept. 14
WR 82 - Marvin Jones
RB 33 - Rex Burkhead
LB 56 - Sean Porter
DE 93 - Will Clarke
OL 60 - T.J. Johnson
OT 77 - Tanner Hawkinson
Updates from Sunday, Sept. 7
The Bengals confirmed Marvin Jones will not play in Week 1:
Inactives for today’s game: WR Marvin Jones, WR James Wright, DE Will Clarke— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) September 7, 2014
Updates from Friday, Sept. 5
Paul Dehner Jr. of The Cincinnati Enquirer has the latest on Jones' status:
#Bengals injury report: Out: Marvin Jones, Rex Burkhead. Doubtful: Sean Porter, James Wright. Questionable: Darqueze Dennard.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 5, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, August 12
Adam Schefter of ESPN.com provides the latest on Marvin Jones' injury:
Bengals believe WR Marvin Jones, after weekend foot surgery, will miss first three games and should return Oct. 5 after bye vs. New England.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 12, 2014
Albert Breer of NFL.com previously reported a timetable for his return:
Bengals' hope right now is to have WR Marvin Jones back after their Week 4 bye. If it happens, he returns to play v. the Patriots on Oct. 5.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 12, 2014
A foot injury will sideline Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones for the next several weeks, putting his status for the start of the 2014 NFL regular season in question.
Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson offered the latest updates on Jones' condition on Monday along with analysis as to how Cincinnati will handle him depending on how his recovery goes:
Marvin jones out a few weeks with foot injury— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) August 11, 2014
A Pin has been put in fifth metatarsal— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) August 11, 2014
Now the question is if they put him on IR return 8 games into season, PUP him for first 6 or maybe back sooner— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) August 11, 2014
Lewis says it will be a few weeks for Jones. Similar injury knocked Sanu out of last month of 12 season— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) August 11, 2014
Fox Sports 1's Mike Garafolo believes Jones may be out of action for longer than initial estimates suggest, as does Bleacher Report injury expert Will Carroll:
Based on my experience covering guys w/ a broken fifth metatarsal, a "few weeks" would seem to be an optimistic timeframe for Marvin Jones.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 11, 2014
I can't find any comparables to Marvin Jones that have come back in less than six weeks. Lots that have taken longer.— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) August 11, 2014
Jones was a fifth-round pick in the 2012 draft but took a big step in his second season as a pro last year, proving to be a fully capable No. 2 wide receiver opposite superstar A.J. Green. Playing in all 16 games, Jones had 51 receptions for 712 yards and an impressive 10 touchdowns.
Since Cincinnati is installing a new offense under play-caller Hue Jackson, it would be ideal for Jones to be on the field as much as possible. Now that he will at least miss the rest of the preseason, the onus is on his draft classmate Mohamed Sanu to step up.
NFL Network's Albert Breer alluded to that in his take on Jones' ailment:
Mohamed Sanu becomes a more important piece in the interim for Bengals. Coaches see him as a potential tone-setter, with his physical style.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 11, 2014
Jackson likes what he's seen from Sanu so far.
"I can't talk about Marvin because he's not here," said Jackson, per ESPN.com's Coley Harvey. "I know what Mo Sanu's doing and he's playing his tail off. The sky's the limit for him."
But the Bengals also have two capable pass-catching tight ends in Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert, the latter of whom Football Outsiders' Cian Fahey believes could be in line for a larger role:
Silver lining: Marvin Jones absence may mean more Tyler Eifert targets.— Cian Fahey (@Cianaf) August 11, 2014
Whatever adjustments need to be made, much of the burden of expectations will fall on quarterback Andy Dalton. Entering his fourth year, the former TCU star has led the Bengals to the postseason in each of his three years under center yet has performed woefully in the playoffs, accruing a 0-3 record with just one TD to six interceptions.
That didn't stop the Bengals from inking Dalton to a lucrative, six-year contract extension worth a reported $115 million this offseason. Now, it's on him to carry Cincinnati from a playoff also-ran to legitimate Super Bowl contender.
What helps absorb the blow of Jones' loss is that Jackson likes to emphasize the running game. With the likes of explosive rookie Jeremy Hill and the versatile Giovani Bernard in the backfield, the Bengals should have enough weapons to get by without Jones for the time being.
Provided Dalton performs like a franchise quarterback, that is.