Jason Jones improving in recovery

DETROIT -- Jason Jones is not rushing it.

The Detroit Lions defensive lineman hasn't played a game since September, when he ruptured the patellar tendon in his left knee against Washington in Week 3. And as the Lions began their organized team activities Tuesday, he did some things but isn't fully back yet.

"I did a little bit of things [Tuesday]," Jones said. "I was out there a little bit. But like I said, it's up to coach [Jim] Caldwell and the training staff."

Jones said he is still working with the staff to recover from the injury. Being a veteran now in his seventh year out of Eastern Michigan, he knows he needs to take his time so he can come back at full strength to compete for the closed defensive end job opposite second-year pro Ezekiel Ansah.

Jones is also a possibility to move inside to defensive tackle if necessary, making him a potentially valuable piece of Teryl Austin's new defense. He is getting closer, though, to being fully healthy.

"I feel way better now," Jones said. "It's been a long time. I've been out since September. I've been out for a minute, so I've been working hard, trying to get back to where I need to be at to get back on the field."

Jones had one tackle last season before his injury. He has 122 tackles, 18.5 sacks and has forced seven fumbles in a pro career spanning between the Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks and Detroit.