Kansas City Chiefs star Chris Jones has been away from the team all offseason as he looks for a new contract, which has put his status for Week 1 against the Detroit Lions in serious question.
Following the new deal for San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Nick Bosa, there is a massive gap between his pay and Jones – which the Chiefs are going to need to close for him to return to the team.
If Jones doesn’t return for Week 1, it’s certainly a major blow to the Kansas City defense.
Chris Jones status for Week 1 game against Detroit Lions
While Jones is not with the Chiefs, he did share yesterday at a charity event that he’d be ready to go on Thursday if the two sides can work out a deal.
That doesn’t give Jones much time to prepare, but he’s such a talented player that having him on the field in any fashion would be a good sign for Kansas City.
Since he’s holding out, Jones is not listed on the team’s injury report for Week 1.
Lions vs. Chiefs odds, spread and total for Week 1
The Chiefs are 4.5-point favorites in Week 1 against the Lions, but that number could move in Kansas City’s favor if Jones returns to the team and plays on Thursday night.
The star defensive lineman is coming off arguably his best season in the NFL, matching his career-high with 15.5 sacks in the 2022 season. Jones also forced two fumbles last season and recorded 44 tackles (another career-high).
The Lions have a potent offense, but oddsmakers have likely factored into this line that Jones will not be playing in Week 1. Should he make a return, it’s a great sign for the Chiefs’ chances of covering the spread.
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When is Chris Jones coming back?
It appears Jones won't return until he has a new deal with the Chiefs. That could come as soon as Thursday if the two sides agree to a new contract.
However, the fact that these are contract negotiations and not an injury with a true return timeline, it’s much harder to predict when Jones will come back.
Until the Chiefs can offer him a contract that he believes is fair, it’s likely that he will remain away from the franchise.
Chiefs next 5 opponents
If Jones and the Chiefs can work out a new deal soon, here are Kansas City’s upcoming opponents that he could make his return against:
- Jacksonville Jaguars, Sept. 17, 1 p.m. EST
- Chicago Bears, Sept. 24, 4:25 p.m. EST
- New York Jets, Oct. 1, 8:20 p.m. EST
- Minnesota Vikings, Oct. 8, 4:25 p.m. EST
- Denver Broncos, Oct. 12, 8:15 p.m. EST
Chiefs injury report
- Travis Kelce – knee, questionable
Lions injury report
- Emmanuel Moseley – knee, out
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.