Patriots Rumors: Why Jack Jones, Jake Bailey Got Suspended

Both players are done for the season


Jan 7, 2023

The 2022 Patriots season ended on a sour note for Jack Jones and Jake Bailey.

New England on Friday officially suspended the rookie cornerback and veteran punter, who had been dealing with a knee and back injury, respectively. Jones, who injured his knee during the road game against the Arizona Cardinals, was placed on season-ending injured reserve last week, whereas Bailey had been in and out of practice for the last couple of weeks.

Mike Reiss of ESPN offered explanations soon after news of the suspensions broke. As it turns out, the suspensions, though not directly related, both are connected to injury rehabs.

“A source said the suspension is related, in part, to Jones being fined by the team for missing rehabilitation appointments,” Reiss wrote, offering additional context to an official statement provided by Jones’ agent.

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated corroborated Reiss’ report.

On Bailey, Reiss added: “According to a source, the team suspension is due, in part, to differing viewpoints on if Bailey was ready to return to game action.”

Bailey, who struggled mightily through nine weeks before getting injured, returned to practice on Dec. 21, giving the Patriots 21 days to activate him to the 53-man roster. While speaking with reporters Friday, New England head coach Bill Belichick said Bailey’s IR clock had run out — a clear misdirection.

Bailey signed a lucrative contract extension during the summer. His suspension could impact the deal in multiple ways, according to Patriots salary cap guru Miguel Benzan.

As for Jones, his suspension marks a disappointing end to what was a promising rookie campaign.

The fourth-round pick faced character concerns while coming out of college, issues that no doubt will be brought up following the suspension. Additionally, the entire situation surrounding Jones’ knee ailment is a mysterious one.

After suffering the injury, which he described as a bone bruise, on Dec. 13, Jones told he “should be good” and that he only would need a “couple of days” to get back on the field. The rookie returned to practice the following Friday but his attendance was inconsistent from that point forward. Jones didn’t practice at all the last couple of weeks and was spotted cleaning out his locker days before New England’s Week 17 home win over the Miami Dolphins.

Nevertheless, Jones at one point this season was playing like one of the best cornerbacks in football, so he and the Patriots must hope this is just a minor setback.

New England will wrap up its regular season Sunday afternoon with a pivotal road matchup against the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots can clinch a playoff spot with a victory.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images
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