Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Walter Jones talked with reporters this afternoon about the team’s announcement that he had been placed on the season-ending, injured reserve list because of his surgically repaired left knee.
And Jones didn’t exactly give a retirement speech, when asked about the prospects of possibly playing again next season.
“My next step is to continue to keep working and try to get back. I still want to play this game. I still have the love. I like the competition. I still want to go out and compete with the guys, so that’s my No. 1 goal right now, is to continue to keep doing what I’ve got to do to get back on the field for next year.”
The nine-time Pro Bowler helped the Seahawks reach their only Super Bowl four years ago. And before ending his season on the injured reserve last year, Jones had not missed a game since his rookie season, a 10-year period that included 156 straight starts.
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Part of the issue with Jones, 35, is he has a kidney condition that does not allow him to take anti-inflammatory medication, which could help him better deal with the pain in his knee.
“I think it was a decision they made,” Jones said about being placed on IR. “And I’m cool with that because it’s tough because I’m been working hard trying to get back on the football field, and everybody knows the limitations I have with the stuff I can take to get back.
“So I just had to take that, and to still continue to do the things I have to do to get back on the football field.”
Jones said the issue with him trying to get on the field was a situation where he always had to deal with pain in his knee. He said most times during his rehabilitation effort he did not tell anyone he had pain in his knee because his No. 1 focus was trying to get back on the football field, and believed he probably should have said something sooner instead hoping the pain would go away.
“That’s the most part of it,” Jones said. “Just feeling comfortable enough to go back out there and play football. I was always dealing with the situation where I could never get out there and consistently practice, day in and day out where I felt good about the knee.
“The pain never did subside,” Jones went on. “So I decided to say something and say that, ‘Hey, something still is not right.’”
Jones said when he came into training camp he was feeling good about practicing and looked forward to it. And when he experienced back spasms early on he believed it was due to being over excited about returning to the field.
Jones knows he does not fully control when the end of career will be, but he also believes he can come back from the injury, and will continue to work toward getting back on the field for the rest of this year even if it means considering another possible surgery to fix the issue.
“This is what I love,” he said. “This is a game that I’ve put so much pride in and want to be the best at, so I still want to come out and do my job and play this game.”
And about going out on his terms, Jones had this to say.
“It plays into it a little bit,” Jones said. “I think the thing about it is I still love the game. I still love playing the game. So that’s my approach -- that I still can go out there and compete with the best of them. So I know that if I take this time and get myself right I still can go out and compete with the best of them.”