BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Donnie Jones knows exactly what Jon Dorenbos would be doing at Super Bowl LII this week if he were still with the Philadelphia Eagles. 

In a room full of reporters, Dorenbos would be working the room, doing magic tricks, becoming one of the most fun stories of the week. 

Dorenbos, who spent 11 years in Philadelphia and became a fan favorite, was instead traded to the Saints at the end of training camp, a move that saved his life when New Orleans doctors discovered an aortic aneurysm that required immediate surgery to repair. 

"I wish, obviously, he were here with us," Jones said. "Fortunately, the trade saved his life. 

Jones, the former LSU punter, first met Dorenbos at the CMT Awards in Nashville in 2005. Punter and long snapper hit it off, stayed in touch and got close once Jones was signed in Philadelphia in 2013. 

The two spoke before Jones flew off to Minneapolis, mainly about how hard it is to reach the NFL's biggest stage. Dorenbos arrived in Philadelphia a year after their Super Bowl XXIX and left the same year that the Eagles made it back. Jones has been happy working with Rick Lovato this season, but it still feels like Dorenbos should be in Minnesota. 

"You feel for that guy, because of all the time he put in," Jones said. "He's a great person, and a great friend."

Follow Joel A. Erickson on Twitter, @JoelAErickson.

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