Jones will serve a one-game suspension for violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy and won't be able to play Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens unless he successfully appeals the decision.
The most intriguing option for his replacement is William Jackson III. Jackson was the Bengals' first-round pick last season but never played after tearing his pectoral muscle during training camp.
The Bengals had the option of activating Jackson off injured reserve last November and had planned to do so. However, running back Giovani Bernard tore his ACL the week before the Bengals were required to decide if they would bring back Jackson or Cedric Peerman. Short on running backs, they made a last-minute decision to activate Peerman.
Jackson never appeared in a preseason game after injuring himself so early in training camp, but his limited work in the early part of the summer impressed coaches.
Because Jackson is essentially entering this season as a rookie, he would be bucking recent history were the Bengals to start him as Jones' replacement in Week 1. The Bengals tend to bring along young defenders slowly, particularly cornerbacks. A large number of them have gotten their starts on special teams before moving up to a bigger role.
Over the past two seasons, the Bengals rank 31st overall in terms of snaps given to rookie defenders. But it's not totally out of the question to see Jackson get thrown in early.
The Bengals have not started a rookie cornerback in his first game since Leon Hall in 2007. Hall, a first-round pick that season, started in the season opener against the Ravens on "Monday Night Football" that year. He went on to start 10 games and record five interceptions that season.
Former Bengals cornerback Johnathan Joseph, a first-round pick in 2006, also earned a starting role in Week 1 of his first season and would go on to start nine games as a rookie. Hall spent nine years with the Bengals and Joseph was in Cincinnati for five before signing with the Texans.
Cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard, also first-round picks, played little in their first seasons. Kirkpatrick played only 42 snaps on defense as a rookie and Dennard only 62 snaps on defense.
The Bengals have former Panthers cornerback Bene Benwikere, Dennard, Jones, Jackson, Kirkpatrick, Josh Shaw, KeiVarae Russell, Demetrious Cox and Tony McRae on the roster. Sixth-round pick Brandon Wilson is listed as a safety, but he could contend as a cornerback as well.