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Bengals expect injured CB Jones to return next season

CINCINNATI -- The Bengals expect cornerback Adam Jones to return after surgery for a herniated disk in his neck.

They sure could use him this week.

Jones went on injured reserve Tuesday with the neck injury, ending his comeback season. Doctors recommended that Jones, hurt Sunday late in a loss to the Atlanta Falcons, undergo surgery, his agent told The Associated Press, but he will receive another opinion before making his decision.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, whose 2-4 team is home this weekend against the Miami Dolphins (3-3), confirmed Wednesday that surgery is likely and that he expects Jones back by next season. The fifth-year NFL veteran is under contract with the Bengals for one more year.

"At some point, Adam will have surgery -- once the doctors feel it's time -- with the hopes that he'll be back and ready to play next season," Lewis said. "That would be the outlook that he's looking for. So that's kind of where it is.

"It's a tough thing on him. This is important to him, and I think he's shown that as he's gone about his daily life. This is important, and he's made such huge steps and strides. Maybe this is another positive that he can use and turn around to help others that come down the line after him."

Jones was the Tennessee Titans' first-round draft pick in 2005, but his career was scuttled by six arrests and a dozen incidents involving police intervention. He was suspended for the 2007 season with the Titans; the Dallas Cowboys then signed him, but he was suspended for six games in 2008 for an alcohol-related scuffle with a bodyguard provided by the team.

Nobody wanted Jones last year, and he sat out the season, but an offseason tryout with the Bengals led to a two-year, last-chance deal. He impressed the Bengals in training camp, winning the third cornerback job behind Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall. Jones also returned punts and kickoffs.

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"We've seen guys that have had distractions and issues away from football come back and rebound and change their life, and he's done a great job," Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer said. "He's eliminated all the negative things that have happened to him and found a way to be successful on the field.

"To see him at the hospital yesterday, and just the mood he was in and just knowing his season was over, was difficult on him. It's difficult on this team, because he meant a lot to us."

Jones started Sunday because Joseph was sidelined by an ankle injury. Jones stripped the ball from Falcons wide receiver Roddy White after a catch and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown that put the Bengals ahead, 25-24. Cincinnati lost 39-32.

Joseph didn't practice with the team Monday, although Lewis said he could do more later in the week. Hall had a sore hamstring, and cornerback Morgan Trent also sat out with a sore knee.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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