In a rare bit of positive news for Tennessee Titans fans, Ben Jones might get to play one more time before he hangs up his cleats now that he has been named to the Pro Bowl.
There is a misconception that players in the Pro Bowl are the best players at their positions, but that really isn’t the case. The Pro Bowl is somewhere between a popularity contest for the team that a player plays for and a test of name recognition for the individual.
However, every now and then a player who has been really good at his job for a long time gets a nod even though it might come a year or two too late. This is something that a small market team like the Tennessee Titans know all too well and have seen with players like Delanie Walker, Jurrell Casey, Kevin Byard, and the list could go on.
Another player like that is Ben Jones who spent a decade playing center at a high level only to be passed over for guys like Maurkice Pouncey and Ryan Kelly because they had more name recognition.
Well, it came in just under the wire but it Ben Jones will be able to say that he was a Pro Bowl center after being named to the Pro Bowl roster on Monday.
Has Ben Jones played his last game with the Tennessee Titans
I think we will get some clarity about what Ben Jones is thinking once the postseason wraps up, but it is hard to imagine him coming back next year.
Jones has been the benchmark for toughness and longevity at his position for a long time, but this year that changed. Even though he was able to tough it out through multiple injuries, two separate concussions cost him 5 games this season.
No matter what position you play, concussions aren’t anything to play with, but it is especially risky at center where you have to snap the ball and immediately make contact with the biggest players on the field.
Given his age and those injuries, the Pro Bowl might be the last time that Ben Jones snaps a football. While that is a sad thought for Tennessee Titans fans and I’m sure for Ben Jones himself, it is a much more fitting end to a career than being placed on I.R. in the middle of a 7-game losing streak.
If he wants to come back for another season, he is under contract and Mike Vrabel would never say no to a return. That would give Ben Jones a chance to anchor a Tennessee Titans offensive line that featured several new and improved players while potentially teaching his replacement the ropes.
Only time will tell which path he takes, but either way, fans should hold Ben Jones in high regard as one of the toughest, most committed, and most well-loved players in franchise history.