The idea of Marvin Jones being overrated isn't a conversion without merit. Jones is supremely talented, though talent has never been the issue. A knee injury forced him to miss three games in 2012, during his rookie season, after being selected in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL draft. Two games were missed earlier that year, but it was a coaching decision.
Jones made a significant impact in 2013, generating 51 receptions, 712 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns. It was the first time in franchise history that two players scored double-digit touchdowns in the same season, as A.J. Green, who scored 11 times. Unfortunately, a pair of ankle and foot injuries, ended Jones' season in 2014 before it even started.
Now an impression has been labeled. Of a possible 48 regular season games, Jones has missed 21. Despite missing an entire season, Jones submitted social media posts showing his workouts in California, generating a hope that he, along with tight end Tyler Eifert, will install excitement for an offense that had multiple cylinders blown last year.
Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was excited about his return, saying, that with Jones, "it's about what he was before he left. He's a 10-touchdown, big-play guy who brings another explosive offensive weapon to our football team. We missed him, obviously."
Quarterback Andy Dalton felt a significant impact, going from a franchise-setting 33 touchdowns in 2013 to a career-low 19 touchdown passes in 2014.
His return, along with that of tight end Tyler Eifert, who has made impressive contributions during training camp this week, was imperative to the narrative promoting Dalton beyond the hilarious jeers at the MLB All-Star week celebrity game at Great American Ballpark.
Sadly, Jones' excitable return hasn't been the explosive celebration we were led to believe in. Constant offseason training videos weren't enough to prepare Jones for the eventuality of soreness of a hamstring. Head coach Marvin Lewis was blunt in saying ""Marvin’s got to get to practice if Marvin wants to get to play."
Jones ignored the media while Hue Jackson offered that "he'll be back soon enough."
During Saturday's Family Day, where a mock game without thigh or knee pads were played, Jones jogged with his teammates in the usual jersey and short uniform. Unfortunately, pre-practice projections erroneously suggested Jones was practicing. Instead, he worked on the side with linebackers Rey Maualuga, Vontaze Burfict and Sean Porter, offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, running back Cedric Peerman, and whatever-he-is-this-year Onterio McCalebb.
So we wait.
Jones isn't worried about his soreness and Jackson remains optimistic. Lewis called out a player, which is unusual until he's frustrated enough to raise the issue, but offers incoherent generalities in the end.
Can you trust Jones?
It's a logical question, justified in being asked. All we can do is wait and see the storyline play out.