Taiwan Jones proving worth as Bills' captain and special teams leader

September 27, 2018 - 10:02 pm
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At halftime of the Bills’ week two game against the Los Angeles Chargers, cornerback Vontae Davis abruptly retired.  He decided he didn’t want to (or couldn’t) play anymore.  Let’s call it was it was - he quit.  And his teammates weren’t happy about it, that much was well documented after the game.

That same day, Bills’ special teams captain Taiwan Jones was on the receiving end of a really scary hit to the head after his helmet came off.  Jones was trying to get a muffed punt out of his own end zone when he was hit and his helmet was knocked off his head.  The Chargers’ Uchenna Nwosu was coming full speed and hit him in the head.  Jones was laying face down on the New Era Field turf with blood gushing from his head.  Trainers came to his aide and he eventually walked off the field.  Remarkably, despite eleven stitches and a huge, visible gash stretching from the top of his forehead to his right eyebrow, Jones didn’t have a concussion.

Then, maybe even more remarkably, he played seven days later, helping his team pull off an improbable upset over the Minnesota Vikings.

The contrast between what Davis and Jones did wasn’t lost on Bills’ fans, who made it known how much they appreciated him for getting back on the field as soon as he could, even though no one would have blamed him if he hadn’t.  He was being tagged all over social media, praised for his courage and, after the Davis situation painted their team in a negative light, for representing the antithesis of that action.

In fact, some Bills fans had originally questioned why Jones, purely a special teams player, would even be a captain.  They didn’t after that.

“It means a lot that (the fans) notice my actions, not what I’m going around saying,” Jones told me after a practice this week.  “The fact that my peers picked me as a captain and the fans see the characteristics why I should be a captain, it means a lot.  It means a lot.”

Further demonstrating his team-first mentality, Jones has not only embraced his role as a core special teamer, he's thriving in it.  “My mindset was always that I wanted to be an impact on a team, not just a roster filler,” said Jones, who is listed on the roster as a running back and has played both running back and cornerback in college and the NFL.  “We have a lot of depth at running back, so I got the opportunity on special teams and when I’m out there I’m out there to make plays.  My mindset is ‘I’m the best player at whatever I’m going to do,’ and that carries on in how I play the game and I just have to embrace that special teams role and that’s just what I have done.


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