INDIANAPOLIS -- Just when you thought Art Jones' time with the Indianapolis Colts couldn't get any worse, the NFL announced Friday that he's been suspended for the first four games of the season for using performance-enhancing drugs.
It's been one thing after another with Jones, who has played just nine games in his two seasons in Indianapolis. There was the ankle injury in 2014. Then the ankle that cost him the entire 2015 season. Then the pay cut earlier this spring. And now the suspension. At some point, the Colts will have to realize their five-year, $33 million investment in the defensive tackle – he signed in 2014 -- just isn't working
The four-game suspension will cost Jones about $588,000 in salary.
The Colts have always needed a healthy Jones, but they really need him now because it's uncertain when Henry Anderson, who replaced the injured Jones in the starting lineup last season, will be ready; Anderson has been rehabbing a severe knee injury suffered in Week 9. The Colts should have a better idea of Anderson's status once he takes his physical next week.
"If we get a healthy Art and Henry in the mix here with the other guys we have that are on the come [up], that's going to be a stronger position group than people think," Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said during minicamp in early June.
With Jones out and the possibility that Anderson won't be ready for Week 1 against the Detroit Lions, the Colts will lean on players such as Zach Kerr and T.Y. McGill to fill the void on a defensive line that will likely feature Kendall Langford and David Parry as the other two starters. Indianapolis also drafted Texas defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway in the fourth round this year.
The clock is ticking on Jones' time with the Colts, and it ticks even faster with each of his missteps.