The Bengals placed Jones on injured reserve Tuesday with a herniated disk in his neck. Jones was injured late in Sunday's 39-32 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, then was examined by a doctor who indicated that surgery was needed, agent Tom Hunter told The Associated Press.
Jones will see other specialists before deciding whether to have surgery, Hunter said. An operation wouldn't necessarily end the cornerback's career.
"It looks very promising for him," Hunter said. "Do not ever count this man out. He is going to be back."
Jones, a fourth-year pro with a history of off-the-field trouble, received a second chance from the Bengals in May when they signed him to a two-year contract.
Jones' repeated run-ins with the law led to him being suspended for the 2007 season while with the Tennessee Titans for violating the league's personal-conduct policy. The Titans, who drafted Jones in the first round in 2005, traded him to Dallas during the suspension, and he played nine games with the Cowboys in 2008 before he was suspended for six games after an alcohol-related scuffle with a team-provided bodyguard. He was released and sat out the 2009 season.
Jones played well for the Bengals during the preseason, winning the job as the third cornerback behind Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph, and he also returned punts and kickoffs. Jones missed one game with a shoulder injury.
With Joseph sidelined by an ankle injury, Jones started against the Falcons and had one of the game's pivotal plays, stripping wide receiver Roddy White after a catch and returning the ball 59 yards for a touchdown that put the Bengals ahead 25-24.
Jones made 14 tackles, one forced fumble and one interception in 2010.
When Jones signed with the Bengals, he knew he was receiving a last chance to salvage his career.
"He's learned to channel that energy in the right direction," Hunter said. "That's why I'm even more optimistic, as Adam is, that he's going to bounce back and be fine. Indications are that he's going to be OK."
The Bengals on Tuesday also signed free-agent tight end J.P. Foschi and waived tight end Daniel Coats. Foschi started 10 games for the Bengals last season. He will be one of the backups to rookie starter Jermaine Gresham.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.