ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- TJ Jones had yet to be checked in Tuesday morning, had yet to go through the tests necessary to find out whether the Detroit Lions wide receiver would be able to step on the field with the rest of his fellow rookies this week.
The issue is Jones' shoulder, which he sprained during Notre Dame's appearance in the Pinstripe Bowl in Rutgers last December. He was told then it was sprained. Then, after being drafted by the Lions in May and showing up for offseason workouts, Jones said trainers informed him it was worse than that.
Bad enough to have surgery, leading to his rehabilitation with Brian Tovin of the Sports Rehabilitation Center in Atlanta during his off time away from the Lions. Jones said he isn't 100 percent yet because he has yet to block or hit defenders.
"I'm feeling real good," Jones said outside the Lions facility before reporting for camp. "There's obviously things I haven't done yet, certain tests I haven't run on my shoulder so that's things we'll go over with the training staff and they'll kind of make the decision what I should do moving forward."
Jones isn't concerned, though, about the injury keeping him out for a long period of time. He said he'll leave it to the doctors as to a timeframe for him to begin practicing, whether it is right away or down the road.
The 6-foot, 188-pound receiver wants to return to the field because he wants to try and use training camp to prove he can play multiple roles in the offense, both in the slot and on the outside. Jones had 181 catches for 2,429 yards and 19 touchdowns at Notre Dame.
"I understand coming in it's the easiest to learn one," Jones said. "You don't want to get too much on your plate at first, but at the same time now it's training camp and I would like to kind of test my limits and see how much I can take in."
When that happens, he's looking forward to being able to focus on football six days a week without the classes and other things associated with college.
"It's exciting. It's the next step. You dream about the days when you would get this opportunity," Jones said. "If it was seven days a week. If it was seven days a week, it's all we have now, there's no classes, there's no other distractions. Football is life if it wasn't before. It's definitely exciting and it's an opportunity."