Jones becomes the fourth Bengals player to go on season-ending IR. In a corresponding roster move, the team signed receiver Greg Little, who spent the past three seasons with the Browns before getting cut by Oakland at the end of this year's preseason.
A source told ESPN.com on Tuesday morning that Jones' ankle was being evaluated so the team could figure out what it wanted to do with him with respect to his injury-list status. He previously had been part of the 53-man roster, a status he held since training camp despite going through a series of lower leg-related injuries that forced him to miss all but five practices since July 24.
Expected to be the No. 2 receiver to A.J. Green this season, Jones was slowed in camp because of an ankle injury that the source confirmed went back to February. Once that injury healed two weeks after the start of camp, Jones returned for only three preseason practices before he broke his left foot.
Jones was kept on the active roster but sidelined until Week 4, when he practiced once during that week's bye. He also practiced one other later time before the Bengals' Week 5 game against New England. It was during that practice that the Bengals said he "tweaked" his ankle.
The source said the belief was that Jones broke his other foot while trying to overcompensate for the injury to his right ankle. The source also said doctors didn't know the extent of the problems with the ankle until Jones saw a specialist just after the "tweak."
NFL.com reported late Sunday night that surgery was being discussed internally as a possible course of action.
Along with Jones, the Bengals also have tight end Alex Smith (biceps), rookie offensive lineman Trey Hopkins (leg) and linebacker J.K. Schaffer (concussion) on season-ending IR. Tight end Tyler Eifert (dislocated elbow) remains on the team's short-term IR. (Teams get to designate one player for short-term IR per season.) He'll stay there until the Bengals' Nov. 6 game against Cleveland.
In addition to the moves involving Jones and Little, the Bengals also waived rookie receiver Colin Lockett off the practice squad and added former Bengal Cobi Hamilton to his spot. Linebacker Khairi Fortt, who had been signed to the active roster last week, also was waived. That puts the team at 52 players on the active roster.
Jones was the Bengals' second-leading receiver behind Green last season with 51 receptions for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns.
His presence won't be the only one the Bengals will be missing this weekend when they travel to Indianapolis. Green (toe) told ESPN's Bob Holtzman on Sunday that he would not play for a second straight week.