“I am grateful for all those who have supported me throughout the years,” said Jones, who is retiring so he can spend more time with his family. “Specifically, I would like to thank Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman, Doug Pederson and the entire Eagles organization for allowing me to be a part of their family for the past five seasons. I will truly miss my teammates, coaches, friends and the best fans in the NFL.
“Although I am retiring, I will always be an Eagle and will forever have a special place in my heart for the city of Philadelphia. It is a great honor to be a part of the first Super Bowl championship team in Eagles history and there is no better way to finish my career.”
Jones signed with the Eagles as a free agent in 2013 following stints with the Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams and Houston Texans. He owns the Eagles records for gross punting average (45.37), net average (40.5), net punting average in a season (41.6, 2015), most career punts inside the 20 (138) and most single-season punts inside the 20 (34, 2014).
“We want to congratulate Donnie Jones on reaching the pinnacle of his career and retiring as a Super Bowl champion,” the team said in a statement. “Donnie is a professional in every sense of the word and we wish him all the best in retirement. We owe much of our recent special teams success to Donnie, as evidenced by the numerous franchise punting records he set during his five-year run with the Eagles. We will miss Donnie’s ability on the field, but will also miss his enthusiastic personality and the daily commitment he made to engaging with our community and our fan base.”
The 37-year-old played in all 16 regular-season games dating back to the 2005 season, and currently holds the third-longest consecutive-games-played streak (208) behind Texans punter Shane Lechler (254) and Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (235). Jones, who averaged 45.5 yards on his punts over his career, received Associated Press All-Pro honors in 2008 and 2009 while with the Rams.
New Orleans Saints activate WR Tre’Quan Smith off injured reserve
METAIRIE, La. — The New Orleans Saints‘ receiving corps keeps getting healthier by the week.
Third-year receiver Tre’Quan Smith was activated off of injured reserve Saturday — a day before the Saints host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a divisional-round playoff game — after fellow receivers Michael Thomas and Deonte Harris returned from IR last week. Smith missed the past three games with an ankle injury before returning to practice this week.
Smith caught a career-high 34 passes for 448 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games this season. But the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder is equally valuable as one of New Orleans’ best downfield blockers in the run game.
The Saints also placed backup guard/center Will Clapp on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday after he learned of a positive test and missed practice on Friday. No other players were placed on the list Saturday after contract tracing.
The Saints elevated guard/center Cameron Tom and linebacker Chase Hansen from their practice squad to the active roster. They also re-signed emergency backup kicker Blair Walsh and long-snapper John Denney to their practice squad and released wide receiver Tommylee Lewis and defensive end Anthony Zettel.
Follow live: Aaron Donald and the Rams look to slow down Aaron Rodgers and Packers at Lambeau Field
Pittsburgh Steelers expected to promote Matt Canada to offensive coordinator, source says
PITTSBURGH — The Steelers didn’t have to search far for their new offensive coordinator.
The team is expected to promote quarterbacks coach Matt Canada to offensive coordinator, a source confirmed to ESPN.
Known for his creativity in playcalling and design, Canada has been the Steelers’ quarterbacks coach for just one season, but he has plenty of experience on the collegiate level.
With Canada running the Panthers’ offense in 2016, Pitt led the nation in red zone touchdown percentage (82%) and scored at least 28 points in all 12 regular-season games.
He also previously worked with Steelers running backs coach Eddie Faulkner at NC State, Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.
Canada had been a candidate for the Miami Dolphins‘ offensive coordinator opening. NFL Network first reported that the Steelers were turning to Canada to lead the offense.
Canada’s return could signal that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is returning for the 2021 season because the veteran would be familiar with the offense and coaching style — important factors in the final years of his career.
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