FOXBORO, Mass. — At the beginning of October, it would have been difficult to imagine we’d be talking about Johnson Bademosi covering Julio Jones less than three weeks later. But here we are.

The New England Patriots are significantly banged up at cornerback with Stephon Gilmore (concussion/ankle) and Eric Rowe (groin) looking unlikely to play against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night. That leaves the Patriots with three healthy cornerbacks, Bademosi, Malcolm Butler and Jonathan Jones, on their 53-man roster, and two, Ryan Lewis and Jomal Wiltz, on their practice squad.

Gilmore and Rowe are the Patriots’ tallest cornerbacks, and Julio Jones is 6-foot-3, 220 pounds. Bademosi is the biggest of the Patriots’ healthy corners at 6 feet, 206 pounds, so by process of elimination, he’ll likely see some time on the All-Pro wide receiver Sunday.

Bademosi, who was acquired in a trade with the Detroit Lions in early September, was thrust into starting action in Week 6 against the New York Jets after Gilmore was placed in concussion protocol Saturday afternoon. Bademosi was targeted just twice and allowed two catches for 23 yards. And that was while covering Jets top wideout Jermaine Kearse.

“It was a great opportunity and coaches did a great job preparing me,” Bademosi said Thursday. “I had the trust of my teammates, and we were able to communicate well. I had fun out there.”

Bademosi has started three previous games at cornerback in his six-year career and all of them came last season with the Detroit Lions. He allowed 18 catches on 25 targets for 284 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in 164 cover snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.

Bademosi said he considers himself a “football player” rather than a cornerback or special-teamer, but it is strange after watching how well he played against the Jets, and factoring in his size and athleticism, that he hasn’t seen more opportunities on defense throughout his career.

“Sometimes it’s a timing thing,” Bademosi said. “And sometimes you have to be in the right situation. Who knows.”

Bademosi played just 28 defensive snaps in his first three NFL seasons in Cleveland before playing 169 in 2015 with the Browns. As a player who came into the league undrafted and only had one full year of starting experience at Stanford, it’s possible he just earned the reputation as a special-teams player. But he has the opportunity to change that if he continues to play a significant number of snaps on the Patriots’ defense.

Patriots captain Devin McCourty was impressed with Bademosi’s ability to play well despite little notice that he’d be starting.

“I thought he did a great job of, obviously, when we were in meetings and we were together of talking, asking questions,” McCourty said Thursday. “But, I think, honestly, the most work he did was probably with just himself jumping into the film, watching more stuff to exactly see. You know, when you’re a backup more, you’re kind of trying to see everything because you don’t know what role you might be thrust upon once you’re in the game. But, I think once he knew he was starting, it was kind of like, ‘Alright, let me focus in on this.’

“I thought he did an awesome job of just being ready and competing, and then he still had to do his job on special teams, so he played a good amount of plays Sunday and stepped up big for the defense.”

If Bademosi has to face off against Julio Jones on Sunday, he’ll likely have plenty of help from McCourty and free safety Duron Harmon. McCourty refused to disclose if that’s the plan of attack.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images