Chris Jones is back. Forget contract terms. Forget holdout frustrations. Forget the remaining questions—at least for a minute. More than anything else, it's just good to see Jones back in red and gold with 16 games left on the schedule. If the primary concern here is about the Kansas City Chiefs' ability to defend their title, then the return of Jones is of ultimate importance.
With that said, however, even with Jones back, we're left with plenty of questions about what exactly has been happening for the last several months. From pretty much any angle, the entire holdout has been concerning and confusing. What are we to make of the player and the team after watching things play out?
Let's look at the primary questions we still have despite Jones being back in the fold.
How ready will Chris Jones be?
The natural question for any player who has removed themselves from team activities, workouts, and practice sessions for months is going to come to one subject: readiness. Just how ready can we expect Chris Jones to be as he returns to the team.
Training camp exists for the sole purpose of seasonal readiness. It's in that time that you see players tweak all kinds of hamstrings or suffer other minor injuries as they prepare their bodies for the rigors of a long and grueling season ahead. For the Chiefs, it's doubly so because they're often playing 2-3 more games than anyone else on the tail end of an already taxing year.
Andy Reid runs training camp the way he does in order to produce the kind of stamina intended to endure for such a long haul. But Jones missed all of that. Oh yeah, he also sat out offseason training activities and mandatory minicamp.
The good news here is that Andy Reid has insisted all along that Jones keeps himself in good shape and that he stays ready. We also know there's a considerable difference between being in shape and being ready to play starters' reps in an NFL game. Yet we can also take hear knowing that Jones has been around the block several times here and knows as well as anyone else on the Chiefs what it takes to play at a successful level.
For now, we can only wonder whether he will have an instant impact or require some time to round into form.