There were clues this was coming, but Mike Riley made it official on Monday: Cornerback Chris Jones is back. At least for practice.
"Chris Jones has been basically cleared to start practicing," Riley said. "It's been a long time since he's played football, so we'll see where he is. Being cleared and being ready and practiced up to play in a game are obviously two different things."
Jones suffered a meniscus injury during Nebraska’s offseason, with the news officially announced by Riley on July 15. According to that release, expected recovery time was “four to six months.”
Jones immediately set out to beat that time frame:
All Ima say is watch me come back, I serve an on time God ain no 4 to 6 months ✌🏾💪🏾💪🏾
— Chris Jones (@Joneschosen1) July 15, 2017
The senior returned to the practice field, though not practice in full, last week, and again took to Twitter to provide an update:
Thank you huskernation for your prayers and words of encouragement, it’s time to further prepare to play with my brothers again 🙏🏾 #☠️☠️☠️☠️ pic.twitter.com/ZLwWPqdKcM
— Chris Jones (@Joneschosen1) September 27, 2017
Then on Sunday, Jones seemed to set the stage for Monday’s news:
Just when things seemed impossible, I went into prayer and God said watch me make that impossible; possible 🙏🏾 God thank you 🙏🏾 #IMBACK!!!
— Chris Jones (@Joneschosen1) October 1, 2017
Coming into the season Jones was viewed as a day-two NFL draft pick by some pundits. He was second on the team in pass breakups a year ago (10) and also recorded three interceptions for the Huskers in 2016.
In other injury news, Riley said running back Mikale Wilbon (ankle), linebacker Tyrin Ferguson (turf toe) and safety Aaron Williams (neck) might be limited somewhat this week in practice but that he was hopeful they'd be available for the game. Safety Joshua Kalu and linebacker Marcus Newby, both nursing hamstring injuries, are expected to return to practice this week. On the offensive line, David Knevel, Cole Conrad and Matt Farniok are all improving according to Riley. Running back Tre Bryant is not expected to be available for the Wisconsin game.