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Dre'Mont Jones rare Broncos rookie to capture AFC Defensive Player of Week

Jones is part of a young core built by Elway/Russell duo in the past two years.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Three hours before game time, Dre’Mont Jones might have won the award for Least Likely to Win AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

Jones and fellow defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker were each leaning enough on the wrong side of “questionable” for the game last Sunday against the Detroit Lions that they were assigned a pregame workout.

Each had ankle injuries – Jones with a high-ankle sprain that forced him to miss the previous game at Kansas City and all but one play against the Houston Texans.

The workout at Empower Field at Mile High was conducted by defensive line coach Bill Kollar and watched by head trainer Vince Garcia. After going through various cuts, explosion sprints and D-Line-like engagements, Jones was pronounced ready for duty while Walker was placed on the inactive list.

Jones played just 26 of 50 defensive snaps against the Lions, but it was enough to record 2.5 sacks and 5 tackles. Immediately afterward, Broncos head coach Vic Fangio, a believer in the adage “the best ability is availability,” gave Jones a game ball.

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos defensive end Dre'Mont Jones (93) sacks Detroit Lions quarterback David Blough (10) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

On Friday, Jones was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week, joining D.J. Williams (2004) and Von Miller (2011) as the Broncos’ only rookies to receive the award.

Jones is part of the strong young core Broncos general manager John Elway and his top assistant Matt Russell have built from the previous two drafts. Jones was a third-round selection this year, following tight end Noah Fant in the first round and left guard Dalton Risner and quarterback Drew Lock in the second round.

This group was on top of the 2018 class that includes first-round outside linebacker Bradley Chubb, second-round receiver Courtland Sutton and undrafted running back Phillip Lindsay and undrafted linebacker Alexander Johnson.

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