J. Jones returns, gives offense badly needed lift

J. Jones returns, gives offense badly needed lift
October 13, 2013, 6:00 pm
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Joe Flacco: 'I gotta be better and we all have to be better'

(Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports)

As the Packers prepared for their first kickoff at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, a familiar face was waiting at the other end of the field.

Ravens receiver Jacoby Jones was back in uniform for the first time since the season opener at Denver, and he provided some spark for a team that seems increasingly to be sorely in need of it.

Jones, who had not played since being plowed into by teammate Brynden Trawick on a punt return at Denver in Week 1, averaged 25.5 yards on four kickoff returns and caught two passes for 42 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown, in the Ravens’ 19-17 loss to Green Bay.

"He seemed like he played well," coach John Harbaugh said after the game. "He looked good throughout the course of the week, and we just decided today that we were going to put him up (active)."

Jones showed his explosiveness right off the bat, taking the Packers’ first kickoff back 32 yards before being pushed out of bounds.

“I was so anxious,” he said. “I hadn’t played in a month. They just gave me the opportunity to return it, and I wasn’t holding back.”

Jones and Marlon Brown, who were both inactive last week, both returned to action this week, giving the Ravens five active receivers for the first time this season. And they needed them, because the Packers made it clear they were not going to let Torrey Smith beat them. Smith, who entered the game ranked third in the league in receiving yards, was blanketed and caught one pass for 12 yards.

That seemingly opened the door for Jones, and he hauled in a 31-yard pass that was one of the Ravens’ few first-half highlights. They trailed 6-0 at the break.

Then with the Ravens trailing 16-3 in the fourth quarter, Jones caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco in the corner of the end zone.

“We had a nice play call,” he said. “The safety didn’t get off the (hashmark), the corner just set and Joe threw a great ball. I did what I do best, catch the ball.”

Jones said after the game that there were no lingering issues with the knee injury, saying “once training camp starts, you’re never 100 percent. Nobody’s 100 percent. It is what it is. If I can go, I’m gonna go.”

“I’d have felt a lot better if we’d have got the W, but other than that, healthwise, I was good,” he added. “As long as I can run around and go, I’m gonna suck it up and play.”

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