Any concerns of Chris Jones showing signs of rust this season were quickly tossed aside like the All-Pro has done to quarterbacks.
Having missed all of training camp and Week 1 amid a contract stalemate, Jones returned to the field in prime form and has yet to let up.
Heading into Week 7 against the Los Angeles Chargers, Jones has posted a sack in each game he's played this year and simultaneously put a smile on Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid's face.
"This is what he's been the last few years, he's grown up before our eyes," Reid said Wednesday, via team transcript. "I think he's taking it serious -- the last few years he's been very serious on the skill of both spots (defensive tackle and defensive end)."
Jones has been a serious disruption and the stats show it.
Having put together an NFL-record 11-game sack streak in 2018, Jones has now registered a sack in eight consecutive games dating back to last season. It's the longest active streak in the NFL.
He's posted 5.5 sacks so far this year and his play has elevated the Chiefs' pass rush as a whole. With Jones on the field (for 679 dropbacks), Kansas City has an 8.7% sack rate and a 33.9% pressure rate in comparison to a 5.9% sack rate and a 25.1% pressure rate with him off the field (219 dropbacks), per Next Gen Stats.
"I think every year has its challenges; every season has its adversity," said Jones, who also has 11 QB hits and 18 QB pressures. "Most importantly I think it's about the guys in the room with you who (can) balance your success. If you've got guys who are unselfish and allow you to be you and excel in what you do best, it can excel the whole room. I think hand in hand with the guys I have in the room with me I think is a counter product of my success."
His production and his impact are all the more impressive considering the time he missed sitting out before he and the Chiefs agreed to a new one-year deal.
Nonetheless, Jones is as impressive as ever, which is saying something considering he's won a pair of Super Bowls with the Chiefs and gone to four Pro Bowls running.
Jones, who had 15.5 sacks in 2022 en route to his first All-Pro selection, has been a menace all along the defensive line, as well. Regarded generally a defensive tackle, 60% of his third-down snaps this season have come aligned at edge, per Next Gen Stats.
"Somebody as good as he is, you've got to move him around a little bit," Reid said. "He's, not a mark man, but they know they've got to slow him down. The best you can move him around, that helps him. Now he's a good enough athlete where he can do that, he has a good enough feel for things where we can do that with him. Not everyone can do that, he gives you that flexibility. That's what (defensive coordinator Steve) Spags (Spagnuolo) and (defensive line coach) Joe Cullen do, they give him opportunities outside and inside, mix it up a little bit."
Kansas City (5-1) hasn't lost with Jones on the field this year and the Chiefs defense is allowing just 14.7 points per game, second in the NFL and the best for the franchise since 1997, per NFL Research.
There's clearly been no rust for Jones since he's returned. He's playing as phenomenally as he ever has and within striking distance of his own standard for consecutive games with a sack. Next up are the Chargers, whom he terrorized for four sacks in two 2022 games.