Four teams watch former Lions' running back work out
By LARRY LAGE
The Associated Press
Posted Jun 28, 2008 @ 08:11 PM
Saline, MI —
Kevin Jones went through a workout Saturday in Saline, Mich., and four NFL teams watched the running back sprint and cut just five months after major knee surgery.
Dr. D.S. Ping — who has been helping Jones rehabilitate his right knee — said the Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions sent representatives.
The Cleveland Browns called, Ping said, and asked for a video of the workout
Jones did a shuttle run on wet grass in 4.3 seconds, ran around cones and caught passes.
“All the teams basically said they were amazed by what Kevin can do,” Ping said.
The Lions cut their former first-round pick in March with one year left on his contract after he hurt his knee late last season, adding to the injury woes that have stunted his success in the league.
Jones missed the first two games last season recovering from a foot injury that also sidelined him for the last three games of 2006. He ran for at least 70 yards in five games, including a season-high 105, before hurting his knee Dec. 23 against the Chiefs.
A few months later, the Lions released him.
The franchise was interested enough, though, to send director of pro personnel Sheldon White about 45 minutes west of Detroit to witness the workout.
“Sheldon said what impressed him was Kevin’s burst after standing still,” Ping recalled. “He also liked how Kevin picked himself up and finished a drill when he slipped on the grass that was really slick because of a lot of rain.”
Ron Hughes, the Steelers’ college scouting coordinator, was also impressed.
“Ron told me he thought Kevin ran really well,” Ping said.
Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery on Jones’ right knee in January and told him it would take up to 10 months to get back on the field. Jones, though, expects to go through non-contact drills during training camp with the team that signs him.
“I honestly feel like I’m ready to play right now,” Jones insisted earlier this month.
Jones has said New England, Chicago, Green Bay, Tennessee, Tampa Bay, Denver, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Buffalo and the New York Jets were among the teams showing interest in him.
Jones is vying for a job along with free agent running backs such as Shaun Alexander, Chris Henry, Ron Dayne and Cedric Benson.
He ran for 3,000-plus yards over four seasons in Detroit, including 1,133 yards as a rookie in 2004.