Butch Jones announced on Monday, October 23rd that junior offensive lineman Jack Jones was having to step away from football for good because of a lingering neck injury.
“Jack Jones has had some recurring neck injuries, and after meeting with doctors, everyone thought it was in his best interest that he no longer play football,” Jones told the media on Monday. “He will continue to be a member of this team moving forward.”
For Jack Jones, Monday marked the end of a three-year career as a Vol football player, one that was filled with promise and injury both. Jones played in 18 games in his first two seasons as a Vol, and he made eight career starts counting the opening game of the 2017 season as well.
Jones’ first start came as a freshman against Alabama. His first significant action of his career came in the previous game, however. Jones came in midway through Tennessee’s contest against Georgia in 2015, and he helped solidify the right side of the line against a stout Bulldog front seven. He didn’t allow a sack in his first major action of his career, and he helped pave the way for 519 yards of offense for the Vols in that game.
He would go on to start in six games his sophomore year and helped the Vols amass large amounts of yards on the ground and through the air as part of that potent 2016 offense. His only start of the 2017 season came in the Vols’ season opener against Georgia Tech.
Late Monday night, Jones took to Twitter to thank Tennessee fans, coaches, and his teammates for the last three years. Here’s the full letter:
Football & Tennessee. They have been my two favorite things since I can remember. So thank you, to the University of Tennessee, for allowing me to play the game I have loved my entire life for my home state. It would never be easy to give up football, but after consulting with UT doctors & a spine specialist, it was made clear for my long term health, there was really no other choice. Thank you to Coach Butch Jones & staff for recruiting me & Coaches Don Mahoney & Walt Wells for coaching me up on the O-line. Thank you, also, to every single person involved within the program from equipment managers, to Thornton advisors, to everybody in between. To my teammates past & present, I love you & the relationships I have built with you will be what I take with me forever. You are my brothers. To Vol Nation, there is no other fan base like you in the world…how you bring Neyland to life on game day is indescribable. It was truly an honor to wear the orange & white & run through the T. Much love to my family for you unconditional love & support. May God Bless Team 121 as we continue our journey.