New England will be without its slot cornerback for at least three games. The Patriots moved Jonathan Jones to IR due to a shoulder injury.
The team is bracing for an extended Jones absence, according to ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss. It is unclear if a three-game break will be enough time, but Jones is down until at least Week 10 because of this transaction.
In his sixth season with the Patriots, Jones has worked his way from UDFA to regular inside defender with the team. Pro Football Focus slotted Jones fifth among all corners in 2020 but has not graded his 2021 performance nearly as well, viewing his work as barely top-100 worthy at the position. But Jones, whose $7MM-per-year Pats extension runs through 2022, will have some time to get healthy.
The Patriots worked out veterans Brian Poole, D.J. Hayden and De’Vante Bausby this week but did not sign them. Second-year cover man Myles Bryant is most likely to serve as Jones’ fill-in, Reiss adds. Late-summer trade acquisition Shawn Wade remains out due to a concussion.
In other Saturday Pats news, they promoted offensive lineman James Ferentz and defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale from their practice squad.
The Colts are eyeing some cornerbacks. The team worked out D.J. Hayden and Grant Haley today, according to Aaron Wilson (via Twitter). Hayden hasn’t lived up to his 12th-overall selection in the 2013 draft, but to his credit, he’s put together an eight-year career. The veteran spent the past three seasons in Jacksonville, but he bounced on and off injured reserve in 2020 while dealing with a hamstring injury. The 31-year-old ultimately saw time in five games during his final season in Jacksonville, collecting 18 tackles. Hayden didn’t end up catching on with a team this offseason. He auditioned for the Bears last week, his first reported visit of the season. Haley went undrafted out of Penn State in 2018, but he still saw time in 25 games through his first two seasons in the NFL, collecting 76 tackles with the Giants. He spent much of the 2020 season with the Saints, although he only saw time in one game. He was cut by New Orleans in late August.
The Bears worked out a trio of defensive backs today, including a former first-round pick. The team auditioned D.J. Hayden, Lafayette Pitts, and Kevon Seymour, per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). While Hayden hasn’t necessarily lived up to his 12th-overall selection in the 2013 draft, he’s still managed to put together an eight-year career. The veteran had spent the past three seasons in Jacksonville, but he bounced on and off injured reserve in 2020 while dealing with a hamstring injury. The 31-year-old ultimately saw time in five games, collecting 18 tackles. The Bears struggled during their loss to the Rams, with slot corner Marqui Christian getting his fair share of the blame. The cornerback finished the game having allowed five catches (including two touchdowns) on six targets. The Bears were also busy working out running backs today, with Brian Hill, Wendell Smallwood, and Chris Thompson all in for tryouts. Biggs assumes (on Twitter) that the team is simply updating their RB free agent list, which makes sense considering the team’s depth (David Montgomery, Damien Williams, and (eventually) Tarik Cohen).
The Jets’ addition of Adams makes a lot of sense after rookie running back La’Mical Perine suffered a high ankle sprain that is expected to sideline him for at least a couple games. A 2018 UDFA out of Notre Dame, Adams played a significant role with the Eagles as a rookie, when he started five of 14 games and carries the ball 120 times for 511 yards and three touchdowns. Despite the reasonably productive first season, he was waived at final cuts last year.
The Jaguars will be down their slot cornerback for at least three weeks. They placed D.J. Hayden on IR Wednesday, further thinning out the team’s new-look secondary. Hayden left the Jags’ Week 4 game with a hamstring injury. The third-year Jaguar represents the team’s most experienced corner, having been a regular since coming into the league as a 2013 first-round pick. Jacksonville signed Hayden in 2018 and, for the most part, has seen the former Raiders bust rejuvenate himself. Hayden graded as a top-25 corner in 2018 and ’19, per Pro Football Focus, which is less bullish on his early-2020 returns. Hayden teamed with Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye in 2018 and to start last season. Both have since been traded, leaving the veteran with younger defenders. The Jags will be forced to use their less seasoned talents exclusively against the Texans in Week 5.