Allen Park — Injuries are part of life in the NFL, but they've hit the Detroit Lions particularly hard this year, especially in the second half of the year.
The latest blow to hit the Lions is an ankle injury that will end the season for wide receiver Marvin Jones. He was officially placed on injured reserve on Tuesday.
"He’s worked really hard, he’s been consistent all year," Lions coach Matt Patricia said. "I think he’s improved this year, drastically. He and I talk about it a lot, I think I’ve talked about it with you guys before, about him just being every single day in the building the same, every single day trying to get better. He’s got great energy about him, and certainly was just really going in a great direction."
Jones was injured on the penultimate play against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, when defensive back Holton Hill rolled up on Jones' legs while making a tackle. Because the Lions were in hurry-up and couldn't spare any time, Jones remained on the field for the next play, a game-ending interception in the end zone.
After the final whistle, Jones was taken to the locker room by a cart.
"His foot kind of got stuck in the ground," Patricia said. "It was a pretty tough look for him. He actually got up and got back in the stance because he knew how important it was for us to get lined up and to not have an injury in that situation. To his credit, he is a tough guy and he did everything he could."
Prior to the injury, he had been in the midst of a solid campaign, rebounding from last year's season-ending knee injury. Through 13 games, he caught 62 passes for 779 and nine touchdowns.
The nine scores are tied for second in the league, one behind teammate Kenny Golladay.
Jones is the third wide receiver and sixth offensive player the Lions have placed on injured reserve this season. That group includes starting running back Kerryon Johnson and tight end T.J. Hockenson, the team's first-round draft pick.
The Lions are also on their third starting quarterback. Undrafted rookie David Blough is expected to make his third start this week while Matthew Stafford continues to recover from a back injury. Backup Jeff Driskel landed on IR with a hamstring strain late last month.
To fill Jones' roster spot, the Lions added defensive tackle Frank Harron to the active roster. The former LSU nose tackle has spent time with five different NFL franchises since going undrafted in 2018, including a one-day stint on Detroit's practice squad in September.
Without Jones, the Lions currently have three healthy receivers on the active roster: Golladay, Danny Amendola and Chris Lacy. It's likely the team will promote one of three options off the practice squad before Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Bucs.
"As far as him not being available, it is certainly part of something that we always try to prepare guys and develop guys that need to come up and step up in those roles," Patricia said. "We'll just continue to do that. We understand that injuries are part of the game. We don’t like it, but they’re a part of the game, and it’s all about preparing the next guy to be ready to go."