Nobody in Broncos Country is looking forward to yet another Maxx Crosby matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1, but it's safe to say that things have not gone according to plan for the Raiders with what was supposed to be an elite duo between Crosby and veteran Chandler Jones. Since 2012, few pass rushers have been as effective as Chandler Jones. As a matter of fact, he is tied with Broncos legend Von Miller for the second-most sacks (112.0) in that timeframe.
When the Raiders acquired Jones in 2022 free agency, it seemed like they had just punched their ticket to the second coming of Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware circa 2014. That combination should be the most feared pass rush duo in the NFL, right?
Well, some weird stuff is going on off the field in Las Vegas, and we're not likely to see Chandler Jones take the field at all as the Denver Broncos play host to the Raiders on Sunday afternoon. The Raiders have literally locked the guy out of the facility. As a matter of fact, as this post is being written, Jones himself has broken the news that he won't be playing on Sunday.
Please be advised, there appears to be something rather serious going on here with Jones, maybe more than meets the eye. The language being used in his social posts is NSFW but you can view a few of them here on Twitter.
Josh McDaniels told the media this week that he's not getting into what's going on with Chandler Jones right now because it's a "personal" and "private" matter. The irony is, that's anything but true given how public Jones has made the situation. The Raiders won't let him into the facility, and the reasons for that are what McDaniels is refusing to make public at this point.
The Denver Broncos aren't going to complain about not having to face both Crosby and Jones together, along with Raiders first-round pick Tyree Wilson. The Broncos are breaking in a new-look offensive line and it will be the first game action of the year for big-money right tackle Mike McGlinchey. McGlinchey is expected to face Maxx Crosby for most of this game and the Broncos signed tight end Chris Manhertz to obviously help with situations like that.
As for Jones, you can only hope that he's truly okay at this point.
Adam Schefter of ESPN said that it appears the team is "concerned about his well-being" by sending a crisis response team to his front door. Jones published all of this stuff to his social media account as well, so it appears as though he's kind of scoffing at the severity of the situation. From an outside perspective, though, it's clearly pretty alarming behavior.
Although it's funny on the surface that the Raiders have locked their star player out of the facility, you obviously hope everything is alright with Jones and that he's able to get back on track soon enough.