Jackson: Marvin Jones starting to look like himself

Marvin Jones hasn't recorded a regular-season statistic since December, 29, 2013, but the Cincinnati Bengals see him as part of the plan come September.

Sidelined all last season by ankle and foot injuries, Jones played 25 snaps in Friday's preseason win over the New York Giants. He caught just one pass for 17 yards, but offensive coordinator Hue Jackson isn't focused on his numbers.

"He's starting to look like Marvin Jones again," Jackson said, per ESPN.com's Coley Harvey. "The more he works at it every day."

Jackson was grading Jones as a route-runner, while examining his breaks and up-field quickness, per Harvey, who noted that the fourth-year wideout later "flashed a couple of times during Monday's practice."

"He's still in the process of it," Jackson said. "The more he does it, he's just getting himself ready for the season."

Geoff Hobson of the team's official website called Jones "one of the biggest pieces of the Bengals' emerging 2015 jigsaw puzzle," noting how much quarterback Andy Dalton missed the receiver last fall. Jones in 2013 ranked as the fifth best wideout in the league in terms of quarterback rating on his targets and deep-ball catch percentage, per Pro Football Focus.

Practicing mostly with the second and third team behind A.J. Green and Mohamed Sanu, Jones needs to fight his way back into a starting role. After he missed much of camp with a hamstring injury, coach Marvin Lewis said of the wideout, per The Cincinnati Enquirer: "He hasn't played football for us in a year, basically. ... (He's) got to get prepared to play NFL football."

We've got to see it on the field, but a healthy return by Jones only adds another weapon to a roster that also includes buzzy tight end Tyler Eifert and a pair of thunder-and-lightning runners in Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard.

As we've mentioned all offseason, the oft-ignored Bengals have the requisite talent to make another playoff run in the AFC -- and maybe finally win a January tussle this time around.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down Week 1 of the preseason and kicks off a week's worth of spectacular fantasy insight.

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