What Jonathan Jones’ Season-Ending Shoulder Injury Means For Patriots

Jones is a big loss for the Patriots' defense

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October 25, 2021

The New England Patriots reportedly will be without one of their top defensive backs for the rest of the 2021 season.

Starting slot cornerback Jonathan Jones will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery Monday, according to a report from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. The Patriots placed Jones on injured reserve before Sunday’s 54-13 win over the New York Jets.

With Jones now done for the season and Stephon Gilmore traded to Carolina, the Patriots are down two of their three projected starting corners, further taxing what already was a thin position group.

Myles Bryant, who played 86 percent of defensive snaps against the Jets after being promoted from the practice squad, projects as Jones’ primary replacement in the slot. Bryant tallied his first career sack and forced a fumble Sunday and also saw significant action at free safety following an injury to starter Devin McCourty.

Rounding out the Patriots’ cornerback group are starting outside corners J.C. Jackson and Jalen Mills, third-year pro Joejuan Williams, special teamer Justin Bethel and rookie Shaun Wade.

Wade has been sidelined for the last three weeks with a concussion and has yet to play a snap this season. Williams was a healthy scratch for two of the previous three games before returning to the lineup Sunday and registering three pass breakups.

The Patriots worked out three cornerbacks last week — Brian Poole, De’Vante Bausby and D.J. Hayden — but did not sign any. Unless they believe Wade can quickly return and contribute, they’ll likely look to add a cornerback via free agency or trade in the coming weeks.

Broncos slot corner Kyle Fuller has been rumored as a potential trade candidate after losing his starting job to Ronald Darby, but the Patriots would need to clear space or get Denver to eat money to fit his salary (roughly $5.5 million for the final 12 weeks) under their cap. The NFL trade deadline is Nov. 2.

The Patriots travel to Los Angeles this Sunday to take on Justin Herbert and the Chargers.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones
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