COMMENTARY | Last week during OTAs, Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones left practice early with an apparent "tweaked calf." At least this is the report coming from the Bengals' camp via Bengals.com editor Geoff Hobson.
Now, eight days later, it was announced by Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer that Jones' status for the rest of OTAs and minicamp is now in doubt due to the same injury.
This is very disconcerting news for Bengals fans after Jones signed a three-year contract to stay in Cincinnati over the offseason.
Jones was a great role player in 2012. He handled duties in as the nickel corner very well and shined during his opportunities as a return specialist. In fact, Jones played so well in coverage that Pro Football Focus ranked him 11th overall out of all eligible NFL cornerbacks.
In the past, Jones has played an even larger role on the Bengals defense. When Leon Hall suffered an Achilles injury in 2011, Jones filled his role -- and filled it well. Jones versatility is key here -- he is able to contribute in the slot as well as play both the right and left corner positions.
However, there is one bit of history that comes with Jones that Bengals fans should be very weary about -- his injury history.
Jones has had nagging hamstring and calf injuries throughout most of his career. His most memorable of these injuries was on October 30, 2011. Jones returned a punt against the Seattle Seahawks 63 yards -- only to pull up with a strained hamstring along the sidelines.
This was his first play back from a neck injury he had previously suffered. Jones would not return and would also miss two more consecutive games.
2012 was actually the first season of Jones' career that allowed him to play an entire 16-game season. Even so, nagging hamstring and calf injuries hampered him throughout the duration.
Now, Jones is missing time once again with a calf injury. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis has not allowed this injury to become a huge ordeal and has downplayed it to the press.
However, when you look at Jones' injury history and the amount of time that he has missed already, red flags start to arise. The Bengals are most certainly taking precautions with Jones. Being a veteran, he will not miss much due to his lack of participation in OTAs and minicamp. On a more solemn note, this could be one of those injuries that will continue to nag throughout the season.
If Jones is not 100 percent heading into the regular season, the Bengals defense could be in for a rude awakening.
Hall is currently the best corner on the team -- he is also the best replacement in the slot for Jones, given his experience there.
That would leave veteran Terence Newman and possibly the inexperienced Dre Kirkpatrick on the outside against some of the NFL's best wide receivers. After these players, experience disappears as Brandon Ghee and Shaun Prater have never played a regular season snap at cornerback at the NFL level.
Bengals fans should closely monitor Jones' situation throughout the remainder of OTAs and minicamp. Any lost time from him could result in dire consequences for an inexperienced Bengals secondary.
Sean O'Donnell is a contributor for Yahoo! Sports and a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the co-host of the Bengals Central Podcast on the Pro Football Central radio network. You can follow him on Twitter: @SeanODonnellNFL
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