FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- In a sign that he is readying to return to the field after missing two games due to an ankle injury, Patriots rookie defensive end Chandler Jones spoke with reporters in the locker room Saturday, and when asked how he was feeling, replied, "Ready to play against the Texans."
The decision of whether or not he actually suits up will not be his own, however, as Jones said, "It's a coach's decision. Never up to me."
He described not being on the field with his teammates for two games as difficult.
"Just not being out there with my teammates," he said. "We went out there, and we won [the AFC East] championship, and I wasn't out there, but I'm still thankful to be a part of this team."
And while the time away has been tough for Jones, it has also been also productive, as he's been able to dive in to some self-scouting.
"Yeah, a lot of self-scouting," Jones mentioned. "Hand placement, playing against the run, playing against the pass. Yeah, definitely I had two weeks and that's a lot of time actually to scout yourself and correct some mistakes."
Should Jones return Monday, it will come against a top offensive line, led by left tackle Duane Brown, one of the best in the business.
"He's big," Jones said of Brown. "Duane Brown is a big left tackle, and you got a find a way to get around him somehow."
As if the anticipation of a possible return wasn't enough, it would also come on "Monday Night Football," a first for Jones. The 22-year-old said playing on MNF would be a great opportunity.
"You grew up watching it, you grew up watching 'Monday Night Football,'" Jones continued. "For the Patriots to have the opportunity to go out and showcase their talent on a 'Monday Night Football game,' that's a great opportunity."