It has been a long time since the Pittsburgh Steelers have played a season without facing Adam Jones, the 35-year-old cornerback who had a third chance with the Cincinnati Bengals, for whom he played from 2010 through the 2017 season. You would have to go back to that first year in 2010, during which he only played in five games, to find the last time Pittsburgh has gotten away from him.
With the Bengals choosing to release the veteran in the offseason, it looked like they might finally be rid of him, until the Denver Broncos signed him in the middle of the season, but now they too have released him just ahead of the Steelers’ game against them on the road.
Jones ultimately played in seven games for the Broncos this season, making two starts. He recorded just nine total tackles, two of which were for a loss of yardage, but did come up with an interception and three passes defensed.
The decision to release Jones now is interesting because cornerback Bradley Roby suffered a concussion in the team’s last game. Needless to say, he will have to clear the concussion protocol if he is to play against the Steelers on Sunday.
Roby has started the nine games that he has played in this season, recording 24 total tackles and intercepting one pass, adding nine passes defensed on top of that. Their other starter, of course, is veteran Chris Harris, who has two interceptions and eight passes defensed in 10 games this year with 33 tackles.
The release of Jones leaves Denver with just four cornerbacks on the roster, with nine-year veteran Tramaine Brock serving as the next man up in his first season with the Broncos. He has played in eight games this season with two starts, recording 14 tackles with five passes defensed.
This season, the Broncos currently own just the 18th-ranked defense in terms of passing yards allowed. They are also 18th in touchdown receptions allowed, though they have 10 interceptions, which places them in the top 10.
They also rank 27th in rushing yards allowed and 23rd in rushing yards per carry, allowing 4.7 yards per rush so far this season, and they rank 13th in the NFL in allowing 23.5 points per game.
On the season, the Steelers are currently averaging 29.9 points per game overall. In their five games on the road, however, they have only scored 30 points once, and are only averaging 24.4 points per game. That number took a bit of a hit after scoring only 20 points on Sunday, their second-lowest total of the year.