Initially, the Patriots hoped to have him back as soon as Week 10. Now, Jones’ 2021 will end with 20 stops and one interception in six games.
The sixth-year pro worked his way up from UDFA to regular inside defender with the Pats, grading out as the No. 5 cornerback in the league last year, per Pro Football Focus. For what it’s worth, they weren’t quite as fond of his 2021 performance to date, viewing his work as barely top-100 worthy.
Jones, whose $7MM-per-year Pats extension runs through 2022, will have some time to get healthy in advance of his walk year. He’s set to collect a $5.4MM base salary next year while carrying a cap hit of $8.2MM.
In the meantime, the Patriots will move forward with J.C. Jackson, Jalen Mills, Joejuan Williams, and Myles Bryant as their CBs. They could circle back to some of their recently-auditioned cover men like Brian Poole, D.J. Hayden, and De’Vante Bausby, but they’d ideally like to have Shawn Wade return to the lineup. Wade missed Sunday’s win over the Jets with a concussion but could be ready in time for the Chargers on Halloween.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.