Cyrus Jones is looking to make an NFL comeback just nine months after having open-heart surgery, the former cornerback told The Baltimore Sun.
Jones, 26, a second-round pick by the New England Patriots, played four seasons as a defensive back and returner before being placed on the Non-Football Injury list last November. Doctors in Denver discovered a congenital coronary defect, which required open-heart surgery.
He currently is training three to four times a week and is hoping to soon be cleared by his doctors.
"When you go through something like that, it forces you to dig deep and kind of figure out who you truly are, what you've really got in you and how much you're willing to sacrifice to get back out there and chase your dream again," Jones told The Sun. "I found out that I'm even more unbreakable than I thought I was. I've been through a lot in my career, and having all that thrown on top of it definitely could have been a catastrophic thing. I could have just kind of given up, but that's never been me."
After two disappointing seasons in New England, Jones joined his hometown Ravens in 2018. He showed flashes as a returner, bringing back a punt 70 yards for a touchdown against the Raiders.
But Jones struggled with ball security and was released on Nov. 12, just nine days after he fumbled a punt against the Patriots. He was signed the following day by Denver, where he received a fortuitous checkup after going to the doctor for a minor stomach ailment thought to be the flu or a normal reaction to a change in altitude.
He found out it was much more serious after several examinations by the team's medical staff, including a heart specialist.
"If I would have not got cut by Baltimore, I would have never found out what was really going on with me," Jones said. "The congenital thing I was born with, that was overlooked my whole life -- luckily, the unfortunate didn't happen. They say the majority of the time, you never know until the worst thing happens -- you drop dead -- and, after the fact, they figure it out. So somebody has been watching over me this whole time, for 26 years."
Jones' agent told The Sun that there are a handful of teams interested in bringing him in for a physical and workout once he has been cleared to play.