UPDATE (11:28 a.m. ET): After initially being excluded by the New England Patriots, cornerback J.C. Jackson was added to the 2021 NFL Pro Bowl ballot Wednesday morning.
The Patriots added Jackson and removed rookie Anfernee Jennings, who had been listed on the outside linebacker ballot.
ORIGINAL STORY: One New England Patriots player was conspicuously absent from the NFL’s Pro Bowl ballot when fan voting began Tuesday.
The Patriots left Jackson off the list when asked to submit 11 defensive starters.
“We listed the two cornerbacks who have started the most games at cornerback and who have the longest tenure, Jason McCourty (9 starts) and Stephon Gilmore (6 starts),” a Patriots team spokesperson told The Patriots Wire’s Henry McKenna.
“If we could list a third CB, we would have listed JC Jackson (4 starts) or Jonathan Jones (6 starts), but you (are) asked to list the 11 defensive starters.”
With 74 cornerbacks on the ballot, other teams, including the Kansas City Chiefs, did list three cornerbacks.
The Patriots nominated Jason McCourty, Gilmore, defensive ends Chase Winovich and Deatrich Wise, defensive tackles Lawrence Guy and Byron Cowart, inside linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley, outside linebackers John Simon and Anfernee Jennings, strong safety Adrian Phillips and free safety Devin McCourty on defense.
While Jackson has started just four games, he’s second on the Patriots’ defense with 438 snaps behind only Devin McCourty (539 snaps). Jones is third with 436 snaps and also was left off the ballot. Jennings, a rookie, is 17th in snaps among Patriots defenders and has started just two games.
If the Patriots were using starts and experience as their main criteria, then Jones, Jackson or safety Terrence Brooks would have been nominated over Jennings. The Patriots listed a base starting defense but have played the majority of their snaps in sub packages with at least five defensive backs on the field.
Jackson has intercepted passes in five consecutive games.