Arthur Jones Ready To Put Two "Rough" Years Behind Him

Intro: An offseason of ankle rehab for Arthur Jones has the big man itching for OTAs to begin and to join a promising defensive line room that delivered in his absence last season.

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INDIANAPOLIS – Arthur Jones knew something was wrong, but didn't want to completely believe his body.

On the first snap of the Colts' third preseason game last August, Jones was chopped block by Rams right guard Demetrius Rhaney.

Jones fell to the Edward Jones Dome Turf for a few seconds before slowly getting back to his feet, assuring himself that he was fine.

Ankle injuries had limited Jones to playing just half of his first season with the Colts.

One more preseason snap was all Jones would last in 2015.

His ankle gave out on the next play and that's when Jones knew.

"I had so many thoughts running through my head saying there's no way this is happening again. There's no way," Jones says now looking back on his 2015 season ending in August.

Entering last season, Jones figured to be one of the most important Colts players.

With defensive linemen Cory Redding and Ricky Jean Francois moving on in the offseason, the Colts desperately needed a healthy Jones to improve their run defense.

Unfortunately, Jones' biggest impact in 2015 came via text messages, trying to instill a mindset into a defensive line room full of youth that there was no time to grow up.

The gist of the texts: they were needed now.

Jones watched veteran Kendall Langford bring along the likes of Henry Anderson ("a grown man" according to Jones), David Parry and others.

While those guys played, Jones was left to watch.

"It's been a hard year watching," Jones says.

"When you are out there (playing) it's different. When you have no control in the game and the outcome, it's tough watching teams run. I commend those guys in the room. I told those guys, 'I love them like brothers.' Every last one of them played like men.

The rehab for Jones is filled with probing, pulling, band work and calf raises---tedious time necessary to achieve what he was brought to Indianapolis to do.

All this time away from the field has Jones eager for OTAs to begin in less than two months.

What would a healthy Jones mean to the Colts in 2016?

"A healthy Art Jones makes an impact," Colts GM Ryan Grigson said on 1070 The Fan last week.

"(Jones) makes an impact on the stat sheet, makes an impact on how our defense plays and he's a difference maker."

With the type of defensive line reps the Colts needed (and received) from young linemen in 2016, Jones' addition would create even more depth for a group that typically lacks such quality.

As he "scares himself in the weight room," Jones is ready to put two trying seasons in Indianapolis behind him.

"I'm feeling younger than ever, stronger than ever," Jones says. "My wife told me, I'm looking better than ever (laughs).

"They have a timetable for me in (the Training Room) and I'm just excited. I'm busting my tail to get back and help this team win a championship."

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