Arizona Cardinals linebacker Kylie Fitts (49), Cardinals defensive end Chandler Jones (55) and Cardinals defensive end Markus Golden (44) sprint in drills during NFL football training camp practice at State Farm Stadium, Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones was at the team facility Friday and out of COVID-19 protocols that kept him from playing last Sunday at the Cleveland Browns, defensive coordinator Vance Joseph told reporters.
Joseph added that the team wants to check on Jones’ fitness level before he’s cleared to play this Sunday at home against the Houston Texans. So while Jones is back with the team and cleared the protocols, he’s yet to be officially pulled off the COVID-19 reserve.
“Chan’s here today,” Joseph told reporters. “He’s working out and we’re just gauging his physical nature, basically. We’ll see how much he can play and if he can play.
“He’s here, he’s smiling, he’s in good spirits so we’ll see how it works out. … We have to gauge it and make sure it’s right for him to play.”
While Jones might be on his way back, fellow outside linebacker Kylie Fitts’ season is over.
The backup outside linebacker and special teamer was listed as a non-participant in practices Wednesday and Thursday with a concussion, and Joseph added the team wants to be careful because Fitts has a history of head injuries.
“Although my season has come to an end early I will always have faith in (God’s) plan for me and his Will always be done!” Fitts wrote on Instagram. “We have such a special team this year and I’m excited to watch them continue to ball.”
Jones has nine tackles through five games played this year with five sacks, all of which came in the season opener.
Fitts recorded two tackles this year, including one on Sunday in a 37-14 win against the Browns. While he has been mostly used on special teams, he did play 10 snaps on defense in the season-opener against the Tennessee Titans and nine more against Cleveland with Jones out.
Fitts was a sixth-round pick by the Chicago Bears in 2018 and was later picked up by Arizona.
He appeared in six games with the Bears in his rookie season and since has played 22 more with the Cardinals. For Arizona, he’s accumulated 15 tackles with one quarterback hit and one forced fumble over the past three years.