The Patriots will be without a key defensive back for the foreseeable future. Marcus Jones suffered a torn labrum during New England’s loss to Miami on Sunday night, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald reports that the second-year pro has landed on injured reserve.
Jones was one of New England’s lone bright spots in 2022. The rookie third-round pick ended up earning first-team All-Pro honors after leading the NFL in punt return yards. He finished the season with one punt return touchdown, with the score serving as a game-winner during New England’s Week 11 win over the Jets.
Jones wasn’t just a standout on special teams. He got into more than a third of his team’s defensive snaps, finishing with 39 tackles, seven passes defended, and two interceptions (including a pick six). He even added a 48-yard touchdown reception, making him the first NFL player in 45 years to score on offense, defense, and special teams in one season.
Through two games this season, the 24-year-old was serving in much the same role as 2022. He started one of his two appearances, getting into 44 defensive snaps, nine ST snaps, and one offensive snap.
Jonathan Jones missed Week 2 for the Patriots. While the veteran cornerback returned to practice in a limited fashion yesterday, he’ll likely be listed as questionable for this weekend’s matchup against the Jets. Jack Jones is also on IR, meaning New England could be forced to dig into their depth chart on Sunday. Besides first-round rookie Christian Gonzalez, the only healthy CBs on New England’s active roster are Shaun Wade and rookie sixth-round pick Ameer Speed.
The Patriots could turn to veteran Jalen Mills, who has mostly seen time at safety this season. New England will also likely turn to at least one of their practice squad cornerbacks, a grouping that includes Breon Borders, Azizi Hearn, and William Hooper. The Patriots also added cornerbacks Breon Borders and Azizi Hearn to the taxi squad today.