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Thursday, December 26, 2013
Taiwan Jones returns to Raiders' defense

By Paul Gutierrez

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Taiwan Jones moved from cornerback back to running back for the Oakland Raiders in early December out of necessity when Rashad Jennings, Darren McFadden and Jeremy Stewart were all injured on Thanksgiving.

Jones
Now that all three tailbacks are healthy, Jones, who was initially drafted out of Eastern Washington in 2011 as a running back, is back on the defensive side of the ball.

"I don't mind it at all," Jones said Thursday. "Like I've said before, as long as I'm playing, as long as I'm being productive and helping the team, I don't mind. I don't care if it's offense, special teams or defense, as long as I'm out there."

In three games, Jones carried the ball four times and gained 4 yards, but also caught two passes for a combined 55 yards, 52 coming on one play.

Did it feel good for the former running back to line up in the offensive backfield over the past month?

"Yeah, most definitely," he said. "The fact that I was able to help out and get some live reps out there, that felt good. And I was successful in some so it always feels good when you can be successful in something."

Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Jones has put together a solid case for the Pro Bowl as a special teams player, leading the Raiders in special teams tackles and exceling on punt coverage as the gunner.

"He's dominant in that area," Allen said.

Still, Allen said Jones' future in the NFL is as a cornerback.

"That's the head man, he makes the decisions and it's my job to take what he says and apply it and get better at it," Jones said. "If it's defense, then that's what I'm going to put my effort at. Like I said, I really don't mind where I'm at."