The New England Patriots is likely to be down a key piece to their secondary when they open up the 2023 regular season at home against the Philadelphia Eagles. Cornerback Jack Jones is expected to miss some time with a hamstring injury that he suffered during practice on Wednesday, according to The Athletic. Jones was listed as a limited participant during that Wednesday session and was New England’s lone non-participant during Thursday’s practice.
This is ill-timing for the Patriots, who are set to take on an Eagles offense that features arguably the best 1-2 punch at receiver in the NFL in A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. Both of those wideouts logged over 1,000 receiving yards in 2022 and should continue to be highly featured pieces for Jalen Hurts in the passing game.
Jones saw an extended amount of reps throughout the preseason and had earned a handful of reps on the outside opposite of first-round rookie Christian Gonzalez with the first-team defense during camp. With Jones reportedly likely to miss this matchup, that does make New England particularly thin at the corner spot. His potential absence could lead to Jalen Mills and Jonathan Jones seeing added reps on the outside.
Jones, a fourth-round pick out of Arizona State in 2022, played in 13 games for the Patriots during his rookie season and registered two starts. He totaled 30 tackles, two interceptions and broke up six passes.
The news of his injury comes off the heels of Jones having weapons charges against him dropped after agreeing to a deal with the Suffolk County District Attorney. Jones was arrested in June at Logan International after two firearms were discovered in his carry-on luggage, according to Massachusetts State Police. The second-year cornerback was then charged with two counts of a concealed weapon in a secure area of an airport among other offenses. His deal with the DA was one year of pretrial probation and 48 hours of community service.
However, Jones is still subject to punishment from the league office under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.