Allen Park — The 2019 Lions gathered as a team for the final time on Monday and then team members went their separate ways.
Some are franchise cornerstones, some may never return to Allen Park and others have to contemplate their football futures after a 3-12-1 season.
Linebacker Christian Jones faces new challenges and milestones this offseason, but professionally, he knows he’ll be in the Honolulu blue and silver going forward.
That’s after rehabbing his right shoulder following a surgery on Friday, which Jones said was his first surgery. He said he expects to be healthy in two-to-four months.
The linebacker signed a two-year contract extension in November that should keep the 28-year-old in Detroit awhile.
Lions brass clearly believes in him, and Jones said the feeling is mutual.
"We know we’ve got guys here that will work, who will fight every single game,” Jones said. “For all of us, that’s something we respect as players, and as coaches. We just have to keep building on that. We showed a lot of good, but all of the other bad stuff got in the way.
Jones is also entering into a more significant contract this summer, getting married in Napa in July.
The Florida State alumnus had 51 tackles this season, his sixth in the NFL, and tied his career-high with two sacks. He missed the final three games with the shoulder injury.
As far as fixing the porous defense with coach Matt Patricia going forward, Jones said it was difficult to pinpoint the issues that led to a 31st-place finish in NFL total defense.
"It’s just kind of a mixture,” Jones said. “We have the guys, we just have to keep building the good stuff and eliminate the bad.”
Matt Schoch is a freelance writer.