Christian Jones (American football)

Christian Jones (born February 18, 1991) is an American football linebacker for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). He was signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He played college football at Florida State.

Christian Jones
refer to caption
Jones with the Chicago Bears in 2014
No. 52 – Detroit Lions
Position:Outside linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1991-02-18) February 18, 1991 (age 28)
Orlando, Florida
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:251 lb (114 kg)
Career information
High school:Lake Howell
(Winter Park, Florida)
College:Florida State
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2019
Total tackles:380
Forced fumbles:2
Fumble recoveries:3
Player stats at

Early yearsEdit

Jones attended Lake Howell High School in Winter Park, Florida. He recorded 326 tackles during his career. A five-star recruit, he was ranked as the second best outside linebacker in the country by[1]

College careerEdit

As a true freshman in 2010, Jones played in all 14 games, recording 18 tackles and three sacks. As a sophomore in 2011, he started all 13 games, recording 56 tackles and three sacks. As a junior in 2012, he started all 14 games and led the team in tackles with 95. He nearly entered the 2013 NFL Draft, but decided against it.[2] As a senior in 2013, he was suspended one game for violation of team rules.[3] He recorded 56 tackles with 7.5 tackles for a loss, one interception and two sacks.

Professional careerEdit

Jones attended the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana and completed all of the combine and positional drills. On May 5, 2014, it was reported that Jones and his Florida State teammates Timmy Jernigan, and Telvin Smith had all failed drug tests at the NFL Combine.[4] On March 18, 2014, Jones participated at Florida State's pro day and ran positional drills for scouts and team representatives. At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, Jones was projected to be a second or third round pick by NFL draft experts and scouts. He was ranked as the ninth best outside linebacker prospect in the draft by[5]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 3 18 in
(1.91 m)
240 lb
(109 kg)
33 12 in
(0.85 m)
9 58 in
(0.24 m)
4.74 s 1.68 s 2.76 s 4.38 s 7.03 s 33 12 in
(0.85 m)
9 ft 7 in
(2.92 m)
17 reps
All values from NFL Combine[6]

Chicago BearsEdit

On May 10, 2014, the Chicago Bears signed Jones to a three-year, $1.57 million undrafted free agent contract that includes a signing bonus of $5,000.[7][8][9] Jones fall in the draft was widely attributed to his failed drug test the combine. He also received an offer from the Jacksonville Jaguars, but chose the Bears partly due to the linebackers coach Reggie Herring.[10]


Throughout training camp, Jones competed for a roster spot at linebacker against Khaseem Greene, Shea McClellin, Jordan Senn, Dede Lattimore, and Jerry Franklin.[11] Head coach Marc Trestman named Jones the backup strongside linebacker to start the regular season, behind Shea McClellin.[12][13]

He made his professional regular season debut in the Chicago Bears' season-opening 23–20 loss against the Buffalo Bills. The following week, Jones recorded his first career tackle on Bruce Ellington for a five-yard loss during a muffed punt return by Ellington in the second quarter of the Bears' 28–20 victory at the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2.[14] On October 12, 2014, Jones earned his first career start in place of an injured Shea McClellin. He recorded four combined tackles during a 27–13 victory at the Atlanta Falcons in Week 6. On December 15, 2014, Jones started at outside linebacker after Lance Briggs was declared inactive due to a rib injury.[15] Jones recorded a season-high 13 combined tackles (eight solo) in the Bears' 31–15 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 15. The following week, he collected a season-high 11 solo tackles and made his first career sack on Matthew Stafford during a 20–14 loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 16. He finished his rookie season with 69 combined tackles (42 solo), two sacks, and a pass deflection in 16 games and five starts.[16] On December 29, 2014, it was announced that the Chicago Bears fired general manager Phil Emery and head coach Marc Trestman after the Bears finished with a 5–11 record.[17]


Jones was moved to inside linebacker after the Bears' new defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio, installed a base 3-4 defense and held an open competition to name new starting inside linebackers.[18] Jones competed for the job against Jon Bostic, Shea McClellin, and Mason Foster.[19] Head coach John Fox named Jones and Shea McClellin the starting inside linebackers to begin the 2015 regular season, along with outside linebackers Lamarr Houston and Pernell McPhee.[20]

In Week 6, Jones collected a season-high nine combined tackles and deflected a pass during a 37–34 loss at the Detroit Lions. On November 22, 2015, he made a season-high tying nine combined tackles in the Bears' 17–15 loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 11. On December 20, 2015, head coach John Fox benched Jones for the Bears' Week 15 matchup at the Minnesota Vikings. He was benched due to his poor play in the last three games, but was reinserted in the starting lineup the next week after Shea McClellin was inactive after sustaining a concussion.[21] He finished the 2015 season with 86 combined tackles (62 solo) and four pass deflections in 15 games and 13 starts.[16] Pro Football Focus gaves Jones an overall grade of 65.2, which ranked 38th among all qualifying linebackers in 2015.[22]


On June 16, 2016, it was announced that Jones would be making the move to outside linebacker after the Bears drafted Nick Kwiatkoski and signed Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman.[23] During training camp, he competed for a job as an outside linebacker against Pernell McPhee, Lamarr Houston, Willie Young, Leonard Floyd, Sam Acho, and Lamin Barrow.[24] Head coach John Fox named Jones the backup left outside linebacker to start the regular season, behind rookie Leonard Floyd. Jones appeared in the Chicago Bears' season-opener at the Houston Texans and recorded a season-high four combined tackles in their 23–14 loss. He started two games after Leonard Floyd sustained an ankle injury in Week 4.[25] He finished the 2016 season with a total of 15 combined tackles (nine solo) and a pass deflection in 16 games and two starts.[16]


On March 11, 2017, the Chicago Bears signed Jones to a one-year, $1.50 million contract that includes a signing bonus of $500,000.[7][26]

Throughout training camp, Jones competed for a role as a backup inside linebacker against Nick Kwiatkoski.[27] Head coach John Fox named him a backup inside linebacker behind Jerrell Freeman, Danny Trevathan, and primary backup Nick Kwiatkoski.

On September 28, 2017, Jones earned his first start of the season after Jerrell Freeman tore his pectoral muscle in the season-opener and Nick Kwiatkoski sustained a chest injury in Week 2. He recorded five combined tackles in the Bears' 35–14 loss at the Green Bay Packers in Week 4. In Week 11, he collected eight combined tackles and sacked quarterback Matthew Stafford during a 27–24 loss to the Detroit Lions. On December 3, 2017, Jones collected a season-high 13 combined tackles (ten solo) and sacked quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the Bears' 15–14 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 13. He finished the 2017 season with 90 combined tackles (60 solo), two pass deflections, and two sacks in 16 games and 11 starts.[16] He received the 64th highest grade among the 87 linebackers that qualified in 2017.[28]

Detroit LionsEdit

On March 15, 2018, the Detroit Lions signed Jones to a two-year, $6.35 million contract that includes $2.80 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $1.75 million.[7][29][30] He started all 16 games for the Lions in 2018, finishing fourth on the team with 69 tackles, along with a sack, three passes defensed, and a forced fumble.

On November 2, 2019, Jones signed a two-year contract extension with the Lions through the 2021 season.[31] He started 13 games in 2019 before being placed on injured reserve on December 21, 2019. He finished the season with 51 tackles, two sacks, and four passes defensed.

Personal lifeEdit

His father, Willie Jones also played at Florida State and played for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League. His mother, Tarralyn Jones, is the CEO of TJ's Designs & Events and a motivational speaker.[32]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Christian Jones to Return to FSU for Senior Year
  3. ^ Florida State suspends starting linebacker Christian Jones for Bethune-Cookman game
  4. ^ Visser, David (May 5, 2014). "Timmy Jernigan, Telvin Smith, & Christian Jones Failed Combine Drug Test". Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  5. ^ "Christian Jones, DS #9 OLB, Florida State". Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  6. ^ "NFL Draft Profile: Christian Jones". Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c " Christian Jones contract". Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  8. ^ "Undrafted free agents 2014: Chicago Bears to sign Christian Jones". Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  9. ^ " Christian Jones contract". Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  10. ^ Mayer, Larry (May 18, 2014). "Christian Jones fueled by draft snub". Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  11. ^ Dickerson, Jeff (August 11, 2014). "Khaseem Greene no longer overthinking it". Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  12. ^ " Chicago Bears Depth Chart: 10/01/2014". Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  13. ^ Campbell, Rich (August 30, 2014). "Bears set 53-man roster". Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  14. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 2-2014: Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers". Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  15. ^ Wiederer, Dan. "Huddle up: rookie Christian Jones' upside to be tested". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  16. ^ a b c d "NFL Player stats: Christian Jones (career)". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  17. ^ "Bears fire Marc Trestman and Phil Emery". December 29, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  18. ^ Dickerson, Jeff (December 9, 2015). "Christian Jones highlights Chicago Bears' undrafted free agents". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  19. ^ "Bears linebacker Christian Jones bulks up for next big step". June 2, 2015. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  20. ^ " Chicago Bears Depth Chart: 10/01/2015". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  21. ^ "Bears vs Buccaneers: Alshon Jeffery, Shea McClellin inactive; Christian Jones starts". December 27, 2015. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  22. ^ Perez, Bryan (May 23, 2016). "Bears' linebackers among best tacklers in NFL, according to Pro Football Focus". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  23. ^ "Christian moved to OLB-What it means". June 16, 2016. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  24. ^ "Christian Jones fitting at new position on Bears' defense". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  25. ^ Patrick Finley (October 9, 2016). "Bears first-rounder Leonard Floyd won't play vs. Colts". Retrieved November 25, 2017.
  26. ^ "Bears re-sign linebacker Christian Jones". Bears Wire. March 11, 2017. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  27. ^ Greenberg, Daniel (August 11, 2017). "Previewing the Chicago Bears inside linebackers for 2017". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  28. ^ "Lions planning to sign LB Christian Jones to two-year deal". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  29. ^ "Lions sign UFA LBs Christian Jones and Devon Kennard". March 15, 2018. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  30. ^ Alper, Josh (March 13, 2018). "Lions set to add Christian Jones to linebacking corps".
  31. ^ "Detroit Lions sign Christian Jones to two-year contract extension". Detroit Free Press. November 2, 2019.
  32. ^ Bobby Bowden kept up with the Joneses

External linksEdit