Last Saturday, the day before the game against the Baltimore Ravens, the Detroit Lions downgraded wide receiver Marvin Jones to out due to a personal matter. On Monday, head coach Dan Campbell wasn't going to say much about Jones' situation (rightfully so) when asked about the nature of the absence and how long it might be.
Hard to say on that right now,” Campbell said. “It’s just all I can tell you it’s a personal issue. Nothing serious like that, is something going – but it’s just, that’s where it is right now.”
On Tuesday afternoon, here's what Jones posted on his Instagram.
"I just want to say that I have so much love and respect for the Ford Family, the city of Detroit, my teammates and coaches. To be brief, I am stepping away from the team to take care of personal family matters," Jones wrote. "Although this was no easy decision, I cannot be the person/player that I need to be for this team as well as tend to my family from afar. This organization has been amazing showing love and support for myself and my family over the years and this time is no different. For that I am appreciative. To my brothers and coaches, I will be rooting for you every step of the way! This is the year! Go get it!"
In correlation to Jones stepping away from the team to handle personal family matters, multiple reports followed saying the Lions would be releasing him.
The move to release Jones was made official by the Lions a short time later.
Marvin Jones stepping away from the Lions, team does right by him to release him
How long Jones might be away from the team was unclear. The Lions are doing right by him to release him, if only so he doesn't feel like he has to return sooner than he might like to.
Jones came back to the Lions on a one-year deal in free agency last offseason. It's fair to say things did not go anywhere near as expected, with just five catches for 36 yards over six games this season.
But during his first stint in Detroit (2016-2020), Jones topped 900 yards three times and he had exactly nine touchdowns three times in a four-season span from 2017-2020. His 36 receiving touchdowns in a Lions' uniform are currently the third-most in franchise history, behind Calvin Johnson (83) and Herman Moore (62).
It's fair to wonder if this might mark the end of Jones' playing career. He will turn 34 around the start of the free agency in March. But his football future is far less important than whatever family matter he's stepping away for.