Team Coverage

Deion Jones 'can't wait to see' how he can help Browns defense

Head coach Kevin Stefanski said the Browns will evaluate Jones in practice this week before determining if he’ll play in Week 6 against the Patriots

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Newly-acquired Browns LB Deion Jones took the field with his new team Wednesday for the first time since the team traded for him Monday with the Falcons.

Jones, a 2017 Pro Bowler who tallied 137 tackles in Atlanta last season, has yet to play a game this year due to offseason shoulder surgery, but he was designated for return Wednesday morning and is eager to provide a spark to the defense.

"Can't wait to get here and get started," Jones said. "Today will be my first day of practice, and we'll see from there."

The Browns acquired Jones after the defense allowed the Chargers to run for 238 yards in Week 5, the second straight game Cleveland has allowed its opponent to top 200 rushing yards. Jones will provide veteran support to a linebackers group that lost Anthony Walker Jr., a team captain and reliable tackler, to a season-ending quadriceps injury in Week 3.

Jones could prove to be a trustworthy plug in the interior — he's recorded over 100 tackles in five of his six NFL seasons since he was drafted by the Falcons in the second round in 2016.

"I've peaked at (the film)," Jones said. "I think they're just one or two plays off from having a good game in the run game. I think they just have to jell it all together."

Check out photos of players and coaches working to prepare for the teams regular season game against the New England Patriots

At 27 years old and in his seventh NFL season, Jones is the second-most experienced player on the defense behind Jadeveon Clowney. He's capable of playing both as an inside and outside linebacker and appeared willing to be the next green-dot player for the defense as the play-call relayer, a role that was previously held by Walker before his injury.

"I've done it, so yeah, I can do it," he said. "It's about applying yourself, studying, making sure you know everything."

Safety John Johnson III said he hadn't previously met Jones before he joined the team, but he knew about him because of the production he had with the Falcons.

"I think he's a guy that everybody knows even if you don't really watch Atlanta," Johnson said. "You still know that guy, just from him running around and making plays. Anytime you get a guy like that on your defense, it can always help."

The Browns are hoping to have him ready Sunday against the Patriots, although it's still too soon to gauge if he'll be ready both physically and mentally as he learns the defensive playbook.

Stefanski wouldn't rule out Jones for the game and said the Browns will first see how he does in practices this week. Jones has plenty of work ahead of him, too, to learn the different terminology of the defensive playbook, but he expects that to be a quick process for a player as seasoned as Jones.

"Deion is a very smart football player, very intelligent," Stefanski said. "(He's) been in a similar system, so we'll see how much he can catch up. We just really got to meeting with him yesterday, so it's a crash course when you acquire a player midseason. We'll see what he can handle."

Jones is ready to tackle anything.

"I can't wait to see how I can help this team," he said.

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