After suffering an AC sprain against the Jets, Matt Jones will be sidelined for the rest of the preseason but is already showing improvements in his efforts to get back to the field healthy.
The Washington Redskins will be without running back Matt Jones for the remainder of the preseason schedule with an AC sprain in his left shoulder.
Although Jones will miss the first-team's dress rehearsal against the Buffalo Bills on Friday and the preseason finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week, the hope remains that he'll be back on the field for the regular season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 12.
"We think the recovery time will be pretty quick," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. "He could be a little sore, but I think he's going to be fine. Sometimes as a running back, you're going to fall awkwardly, and things like this happen, but we have hopes that he'll last a season, without a doubt."
Jones injured his shoulder during Friday's 22-18 victory over the New York Jets when an uncomfortable landing removed him from the game.
He would head to the locker room for an X-Ray, with the results coming back that it was an AC sprain and not something worse.
"I'm feeling great right now," Jones said. "On a (pain) scale of 1-to-10, I'm feeling like a two right now. It healed up fast. I got some great treatment in. It wasn't bad, what I did – the sprain. It's looking great right and I'm just hoping for a speedy recovery."
Entering his second season with the Redskins, Jones is now the team's lead running back after the departure of Alfred Morris.
During his rookie season, the University of Florida product rushed 490 yards and three touchdowns on 144 carries along with 304 receiving yards and three more touchdowns.
Without Jones available, the Redskins will use the remainder of the preseason to evaluate the progress of Thompson along with Keith Marshall, Robert Kelley, Mack Brown and Kelsey Young as they determine just who makes the 53-man roster.
Thompson, of course, was the team's third-down back last season and is hoping to contribute even more this year.
Check out the top photos of Matt Jones from the 2015 season.
Marshall and Kelley, meanwhile, appear to be the front runners for the third running back position.
A seventh-round pick for the Redskins in May, Marshall has yet to showcase his elusiveness and open-field running ability, as he has managed just 25 rushing yards on his first 15 preseason carries.
Kelley has rushed for 48 yards on 10 carries.
Jones believes both are more than capable of filling in whenever needed.
"They've stepped up a lot – just seeing them in practice and on film, they're learning where to hit the hole at," Jones said. "Kelley is doing a great job. Keith Marshall is doing great. Mack Brown is still coming along, and CT is a little banged up, but he's a guy that everybody kind of looks up to. Everybody around here is doing a good job as a running back. I really like what Kelley is doing right now as he's taking the reps."
Feeling as if the injury "isn't a setback at all," Jones will use the next few weeks to visualize what he needs to do to get ready for Pittsburgh.
"Definitely this week, I'm going to be learning while I'm on the sideline, watching how the blitzes happen – just learning from little stuff from being out," Jones said.