GLENDALE, AZ — Wednesday morning Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury confirmed that Chandler Jones will have season-ending surgery to repair a bicep injury suffered Sunday against the New York Jets. It was the expected outcome, but the confirmation doesn't make the news any less devastating.
"Losing a guy like that, it's going to be tough," said DeAndre Hopkins. "You can try your best to replace him, but his talent is generational."
Following a 2019 season with 19 sacks, Jones had one sack through the Cardinals first five games before going down with the injury.
"He's a tremendous player, as we all know. Great person, great leader on this team, so it's not going to be easy," Kingsbury said. "But we have some guys that have seen playing time this year that will continue to play and get more. So it'll be a rotation, guys that we've seen out there, we'll just see out there more."
Dennis Gardeck replaced Jones on Sunday and recorded two sacks. But as the defense prepares for at least 11 more games with Jones in the mix, his loss is being felt by the offense as well. Hopkins said the pressure to produce more crossed his mind.
"Offense has to step it up, because he does play a pivotal role in this team and how successful we've been," said Hopkins. "I know if we go out and score points, hopefully we can outscore those guys, and I'm sure the defense will do their part of stepping up for him."
Jones is under contract with the Cardinals through the 2021 season. The 30-year-old linebacker was named to the NFL All-Decade Team.