After missing nearly all of the 2014 season due to injury, Taiwan Jones is back in action in 2015 – albeit it with a few *minor *changes.
First and foremost, Jones is back on the offensive side of the football, lining up at running back in 2015, a position he has not played since 2012.
Prior to the 2013 season, Jones, who played both running back and cornerback during his collegiate years at Eastern Washington University, made the switch full-time to the defensive side of the ball for the Silver and Black.
During his two years as a running back, the Antioch,-Calif., native, carried the ball 23 times for 94 yards for a 4.1 average, but the coaching staff decided that he would more valuable on the defensive side of the football moving forward.
Jones subsequently returned to playing cornerback in 2013, but later saw action at running back after the Raiders backfield was bitten by the injury bug.
Now heading into his fifth year in Silver and Black, Jones once again finds himself in the offensive meeting room, but regardless of what position he plays, his true value for the team comes as a gunner on special teams.
Jones boasts incredible speed, running a 4.33 40 yard dash coming out of college, and that speed was on full display in 2013 as he excelled in both punt and kickoff coverage, leading the Raiders with 14 special teams tackles (12 solo). The former Eastern Washington Eagle also recovered a fumble and returned 26 kickoffs for 623 yards.
After the team struggled on kickoff coverage in 2014, Jones' return to the field will be a welcome sight for new special teams coordinator Brad Seely and the entire special teams unit.
Additionally, as Jones sprints down the sideline on coverage this fall, he will be doing so with some added muscle.
Jones spent six weeks at the Unbreakable Performance Center in Hollywood, Calif., this offseason and during his time there he packed on 25 pounds, a fact that NFL Insider Jay Glazer took to social media to compliment him about.
Regardless of his playing weight or the position he's listed on the roster, Jones has proven to be one of the premier special teams players in the NFL and his return to the field in 2015 will be an anticipated one for the Raiders.