Linebacker Jarvis Jones was breathing easy on Monday after a scare during the fourth quarter of Saturday's preseason loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jones intercepted a Chase Daniel pass, which was ultimately nullified by a pass interference penalty, and when he was tackled came down hard on the ball at the bottom of a pile. It initially took his breath away and the team's medical staff had him transported to an area hospital for further evaluation of a chest injury. Jones was released from the hospital on Sunday with nothing more than what he called a bruise.
"It's just one of those incidents where you fall on top of the ball and everyone else falls on top of you too," said Jones. "I fell on top of the ball and it knocked the breath out of me. I don't know how many people fell on top of me. I fell on the ball and our staff wanted to get it checked and make sure I didn't do any damage.
"I'm fine. It's just one of those moments. I don't know if it was a bad technique or anything, but I got tackled from behind, fell on the ball, the dude fell on top of me and knocked the air out of me. Our staff did the precautionary thing by having me go and get it checked out."
His status for Thursday's preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers is unknown, but he said he would welcome another opportunity to work on his skills in game action this week.
"It's just another chance to get better," said Jones. "It's still the preseason. I've still got a lot to learn so the experience will definitely help."
If he doesn't play, Jones has already shown flashes of why the Steelers spent their first-round pick on him this year. He has six tackles in three games, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. And while he wants another game under his belt before the Steelers open the regular season against the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field on Sept. 8, he is comfortable with the expectations if he doesn't play this week.
"I understand the standard to which we play around here," said Jones. "I understand what our coaches and my teammates ask of me. I think I'm a bit more mature now that I have played in three games and understand what kind of tempo and what kind of mentality that I need to have to play this game. I think my teammates and my coaches do a great job of preparing us, and I'll be ready."