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Kansas City Chiefs’ Chris Jones talks holdout: ‘Can be out there tomorrow’

Kansas City Chiefs star defensive tackle Chris Jones remains a holdout as his team prepares for Thursday’s season opener against the Detroit Lions.

With the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year a holdout throughout training camp and the preseason, it stands to reason that he would not be on the field as the defending Super Bowl champions open up their title defense.

Not so fast. Jones spoke with reporters on Wednesday, opening up about his holdout while providing a pretty significant update.

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Jones said that he “can be out there tomorrow” if the contract situation gets straightened out ahead of time. He added a bit more clarity, too.

“I can’t really talk about it. Hopefully, it gets worked out. It’s always been my goal to be a Kansas City Chief for life. I’ve said that multiple times on social media platforms, from interviews, and they know where my position is at. Hopefully we can get something worked out for the long term.”

Chris Jones to reporters on Wednesday, via Sam McDowell of The Kansas City Star

It will be hard for Jones to come in and play at a high level after sitting out training camp. However, the star defender did make it clear that he’s been working out on the side in Florida while holding out. In reality, Jones’ was instrumental in Kansas City’s run to the Super Bowl title a season ago.

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Chris Jones stats (2022): 44 tackles (17 for loss), 29 QB hits, 15.5 sacks

NFL: Super Bowl LVII-Kansas City Chiefs vs Philadelphia Eagles
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jones, 29, is currently playing under a four-year, $80 million contract extension he signed with Kansas City back in July of 2020.

He’s the eighth highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL on a per-year basis after the likes of Quinnen Williams, Jeffery Simmons, Daron Payne, Dexter Lawrence and Javon Hargrave all signed big-money contracts during the offseason.

The Chiefs’ second-leading returning sack getter from a season ago is George Karlaftis III, who had six as a rookie last season. Outside of that, it’s Michael Danna (five sacks). If Jones is not on the field Thursday evening, it will make things difficult for Kansas City against an explosive Lions offense led by quarterback Jared Goff.

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