Manager Ron Gardenhire said an MRI showed what they expected to see.
"[Jones has] been fighting a stiff back off and on, and his hammy has been bothering him a little bit," Gardenhire said Monday. "You know what, it's time to give him a few days here, 10 days to try to figure this thing out. We're too thin to have him go on the field and come back off like this, and he knows it."
The speedy center fielder made a long run to try to track Mitch Garver's second-inning drive, getting a glove on it as it carried to the depths of center for a leadoff triple. Then in the bottom of the inning, Jones hit an infield single and ran into the Twins' Tyler Austin as the first baseman reached for a high throw from second baseman Logan Forsythe.
Gardenhire believed the earlier play was the one in which Jones tweaked the hamstring.
Jones stayed in the game through the third inning, then was replaced before the top of the fourth. Victor Reyes moved from right field to center and Niko Goodrum from second base to right, with Ronny Rodriguez entering the game at second.
The Tigers have been playing without their full lineup for most of the year, ever since Miguel Cabrera's season-ending biceps surgery in June. Cabrera's replacement at first base, John Hicks, is on the 10-day DL with a right groin strain and has a visit with a specialist scheduled for Wednesday. Pitchers Michael Fulmer and Daniel Norris are also on the DL.
Jones has served as Detroit's primary center fielder since Leonys Martin was traded to Cleveland at the July 31 Trade Deadline. Those duties could now fall on rookie Mike Gerber, currently 4-for-25 with a double and four walks since his return, and the switch-hitting Reyes, batting .223 (29-for-130).
Mahtook, batting .200 (21-for-105) after an encouraging first season with Detroit last year, could also be an option.
Right-hander Jacob Turner, who started last Tuesday against the Angels and took the loss with a seven-run first inning, has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Toledo.