Washington cornerback Sidney Jones injured his left leg during defensive back drills Saturday during pro day workouts for NFL scouts and team personnel at the Dempsey Indoor Center.
Jones - a potential first-round selection - was planting to break out of a backpedal during one of his final drills of the day when he quickly reacted to the injury and tumbled to the turf. Jones reached for the underside of his left leg after coming to a stop on the ground.
He was helped to his feet by fellow defensive back Budda Baker and to the sidelines by Washington head coach Chris Petersen. After brief conversations on the sideline, Jones hopped on the back of a cart and was taken out of the building.
“It’s really tough, just because Sidney’s one of our best friends, all of our best friends, (and) he’s a great prospect coming out,” Baker said. “Felt like he could have been the first corner and still can be the first corner off the draft board. The last drill, last thing you’ve got to do, and that happens. Definitely sad, but we know Sidney’s strong and he’s going to still be there.”
Eric Edholm of Yahoo! Sports reported that a scout in attendance told him the injury is to Jones' Achilles. It was the rumor going around the building after the injury occurred and seems to be a devastating blow for Jones.
Jones elected to turn pro after his junior season at Washington. He amassed eight interceptions in three years for the Huskies and was projected as a potential first-round pick in next month's NFL Draft. A torn Achilles would almost certainly mean Jones would be unable to play this season for any team that is looking to select him.
However, it likely won't affect his chances of getting drafted. Running back Marcus Lattimore (third round, 2013) and linebacker Jaylon Smith (second round, 2016) both were selected despite very serious knee injuries. Nevertheless, it would be a crushing blow to Jones with just a month to go before the draft.
In three years, Jones was twice named as a first-team All-Pac 12 conference selection. Jones was the top cornerback for a Washington defense that led the Pac-12 with just 17.7 points per game allowed. He finished his Washington career with 145 tackles, eight interceptions and six forced fumbles in 40 career games.
Photo credit: SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Defensive back Sidney Jones #26 of the Washington Huskies defends against wide receiver Trent Riley #80 of the Portland State Vikings on September 17, 2016 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)