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Former Fan Favorite Jacoby Jones Struggling In San Diego


John Harbaugh spent the last three years holding his breath every time Jacoby Jones got the ball in his hands, hoping he'd rip off a big play for his team.

The electrifying return man and wide receiver can come up with a game-breaking play any time he gets the ball in his hands, and he's not afraid to live dangerously when he gets his opportunities.

Now that Jones is playing for the enemy, Harbaugh knows he could gash his team at any moment.

"I expect him to be bringing it out from 99.999 yards deep," Harbaugh said about Jones returning kickoffs. "He'll be rolling, so we better be rolling."

Sunday's matchup with the San Diego Chargers will be the first time the Ravens have faced Jones since cutting him this offseason. The team parted ways with Jones after three seasons, opting to conserve money instead of paying him the reported $3.375 million he was scheduled to count against the salary cap this year.  

Neither side has prospered since their separation.

Jones missed three games with an ankle injury this season, and has yet to catch a ball in San Diego's prolific passing attack. He's also made little impact on special teams, averaging just 21.4 yards on his nine kickoff returns and minus-2 yards on his four punt returns.

"It's not frustrating. It's all about timing and connecting, getting the right kick," Jones said. "Everybody seems to be kicking away from us, kick us certain kicks, so you've got to be patient."

Jones has struggled in San Diego, but the Ravens have dealt with issues of their own. They have missed the kind of speed he provides on offense, and it took until Week 5 for Baltimore to settle on Jeremy Ross as the go-to return man.

Jones insists he hasn't thought about what kind of difference he would make if he remained in Baltimore.

"I don't really look at it like that anymore," he said. "I'm a Charger now."

Jones did admit that snapping out of his slump against his old team would be sweet. When asked if he hopes to "break one" against the Ravens, Jones quipped back, "Duh. That'd be lovely."

The departure from Baltimore hasn't seemed to leave any ill will from Jones or the team. Jones was a fan favorite during his time with the Ravens, and General Manager Ozzie Newsome said when the team cut him that,"We don't win Super Bowl XLVII without Jacoby." 

Jones could very well receive a warm welcome from the crowd at M&T Bank Stadium when he steps back to field his first kickoff, and he has fond memories of his time in Baltimore.

"I thought they had great fans, great people, good food," Jones said. "I've got friends that I keep in contact with, so it is a good place."

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