The third-year receiver began the week on the Bengals' practice field, working out Monday for only the second time since training camp. But on Wednesday, one day after the Bengals' only day off this week, he didn't take part in a single position-specific exercise because of an ankle injury that appeared during Monday's session. This issue is completely separate from the broken foot that had him sidelined since Aug. 9.
Jones' foot has fully healed from the mid-August surgery. He's now beyond that issue but dealing with this new one.
He wasn't the only Bengals starter who didn't suit up during Wednesday's rare late-afternoon practice inside Paul Brown Stadium. Linebacker Vontaze Burfict also didn't practice as he continues to work his way through the concussion protocol after suffering his second head injury in as many weeks during the Bengals' Week 2 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
When asked, coach Marvin Lewis didn't offer insight into why the Bengals were practicing later than normal this week. It's likely, though, that the 4 p.m. ET practice was a product of the Bengals preparing for their 8 p.m. ET game Sunday at New England.
With respect to Jones, it's possible the Bengals could rest the wideout for another week depending upon the severity of the injury. He hasn't practiced much this year. He only participated in three days during training camp because of ankle and foot injuries. It was after clearing the ankle issue when he broke his left foot in a practice and was sidelined until now. The Bengals at the time had Week 5 penciled in as the approximate date he'd return.
We'll monitor how he comes along this week.
Jones, wearing receivers' gloves, appeared to walk around OK on Wednesday as he worked out off to the side, mostly catching passes from rookie quarterback AJ McCarron, who isn't able to formally practice with the team because of his status on the non-football injury list. He'll be able to officially return to practices next week, per the non-football injury list rules.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis addressed Jones' potential return in his news conference before practice Wednesday. Several hours prior to the workout, Lewis seemed to hint that something was amiss with the receiver.
"If Marvin is able to play, and when he's able to play, he'll add something to us," Lewis said. "He was a very productive player for us a year ago. He's got very good speed. He's another big guy for us. He's got great ability to make contested catches for us. As soon as he's ready to go, he'll add another element to our football team."
Jones caught 10 touchdown passes last season. Nine of them came in the red zone.
Along with Jones, Burfict also got in some light conditioning and stretching, although he wasn't wearing a jersey nor participating in position-specific drills. Fellow injured players Kevin Zeitler and Tyler Eifert also were going through light rehab drills off to the side. Zeitler is overcoming a calf injury that he's expected to return by the middle of this month. Eifert will still be out until Nov. 6 after being placed on injured reserve after Week 1 because of a dislocated elbow.
Here's the complete Bengals injury report for Wednesday:
DID NOT PRACTICE
WR Marvin Jones (ankle)
LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion)
OG Kevin Zeitler (calf)
OG Mike Pollak (knee)
DT Brandon Thompson (knee)
DE Robert Geathers (toe)
DE Margus Hunt (shoulder)
LIMITED PRACTICE PARTICIPATION
S George Iloka (abdomen)
FULL PRACTICE PARTICIPATION
RB Rex Burkhead (knee)
LB Emmanuel Lamur (concussion)
LB Sean Porter (hamstring)