ATLANTA — One year after the New England Patriots famously benched Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl LII, they sat another undrafted cornerback.
JC Jackson wasn’t part of the Patriots’ nickel defense to start Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Patriots instead chose to roll with cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty and Jonathan Jones and safeties Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung. Jackson has been the Patriots’ No. 2 or 3 cornerback every week since Week 13. He’s started six of seven games in that span.
Jackson came onto the field on third-and-3 with 3:35 left in the first quarter when the Patriots were in their dime defense. It appears he’ll at least start the game as the Patriots’ No. 4 cornerback. That comes as a surprise since he statistically was one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks over the last half of the 2018 season.
The Patriots have forced punts in each of their first two defensive series, so what they’re doing is working.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images