- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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Former Giants third-round pick Chad Jones has decided to turn his focus on a comeback in football to professional baseball.
"He appreciates all of the support from the Giants and their fans," said John Moran, the Southern Orthopaedic Specialists physical therapist who helped Jones walk and run again. "He gave 100-percent to football for over two years to reach his goal of returning to football. He is fortunate to have the athletic ability and skill set to perform in the MLB.
"His heart was and probably always will be in football," Moran added in a text message, confirming a report by New Orleans' WDSU TV that Jones was switching to baseball. "But he knew it was time to transition to baseball as a pitcher and/or outfielder."
Jones nearly died in a single-automobile crash in New Orleans in late June of 2010, just a few months after the Giants drafted him in the third round out of LSU. The axle of his SUV snapped and mangled his leg. Doctors scrambled to save Jones' foot and leg during 10 hours of surgery.
Jones has had over a dozen surgeries and has a metal rod through his shin, with two screws near his ankle and two screws under his kneecap.
Jones was a two-sport star at LSU, where he was a safety and electric returner who also pitched and played in the outfield for the baseball team.
The Houston Astros selected Jones in the 13th round of the 2007 baseball draft but the LSU star opted to play football.
Despite the life-threatening accident, Jones still fought vigorously hard to walk and then run again in an effort to return to football. He joined the Giants, who supported Jones during his recovery and comeback, to stand on the sidelines of their game at New Orleans in 2011. During his comeback, he was clocked running 40-yard dashes at 4.84 and 4.9 seconds in October of 2011 as he kept trying to inch his way back.
But Jones experienced a minor setback and failed a physical and was waived by the Giants in May of 2012.
He visited with the Saints and worked out for them earlier this year. But he began to turn his focus to baseball soon after and has been pitching for a few months now according to Moran.
"[The Saints] were impressed with how far he has come," Moran said. "[But] it was a pivotal point in his decision to move on to baseball."