Six days after the Patriots’ Chandler Jones was hospitalized for what was reported to be a bad reaction to synthetic marijuana, the 25-year-old defensive lineman was in the starting lineup for New England in its divisional round playoff game against Kansas City on Saturday.
Almost immediately, media members and fans alike began to correlate Coach Bill Belichick’s decision to start Jones to the one he made in 2011 when star receiver Wes Welker was suspended for one offensive possession of the divisional round playoff loss to the Jets after the receiver took every shot imaginable at then New York’s Rex Ryan and his recently outed alleged foot fetish in a media session earlier that week.
Jones was back at practice Monday and performed well all week, according to a Boston Herald report from Saturday morning, and “the Patriots were ecstatic with the way he responded after his weekend incident.” While it wasn’t clear whether or not Jones would be in for the first defensive series, it wasn’t exactly a huge surprise when he jogged out to his normal defensive end spot for the Patriots’ first defensive play of the game.
On Saturday morning, team president Jonathan Craft said Jones “handled this appropriately, assuming the incident was going to happen. I think his words say it all.”