FOXBORO, Mass. — Jack Jones’ impressive rookie season ended on a negative note.

Jones, the brash, ball-hawking cornerback the Patriots selected in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, injured his knee in a Week 14 win over Arizona. He initially downplayed the severity of the injury, but it proved to be season-ending, with New England placing him on injured reserve three weeks later.

Then, the Patriots slapped Jones with a rare team-imposed suspension, reportedly for missing rehab sessions and mouthing off to head coach Bill Belichick. Belichick did not reveal specifics about what prompted Jones’ punishment, only saying after the season that he hoped the young corner would return and contribute. At the NFL Annual Meeting in March, Belichick confirmed Jones’ ban was “over.”

Now entering his second season, Jones is back in the mix this spring, fully participating in each of the Patriots’ two organized team activities with reporters present. Belichick offered an update on the Arizona State product before Tuesday’s OTA.

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“He’s still working his way back in there,” the coach said. “It’s good to see him out there. We’ll see how that goes.”

Jones looked like a star in the making at times last season, notching a pick-six against Aaron Rodgers and sitting atop Pro Football Focus’ cornerback rankings for several weeks straight. It’s unclear, though, where he stands on the depth chart following the arrival of first-round draft pick Christian Gonzalez.

In the Patriots’ first round of 11-on-11 drills Tuesday, Gonzalez and Jonathan Jones manned the two outside corner positions on the first-team defense, with Jack Jones running with the second team. In subsequent periods, Jack Jones replaced Jonathan Jones and repped opposite Gonzalez, who was viewed as a likely top-10 prospect before he slid to New England at No. 17 overall. Jalen Mills, a starting outside cornerback for the last two seasons, now is working with the safeties.

An ideal cornerback setup for the Patriots could feature Gonzalez and Jack Jones on the perimeter with Jonathan Jones back in the slot, his primary position for his first six seasons. But it’s not clear at this stage how de facto co-defensive coordinators Jerod Mayo and Steve Belichick plan to structure their secondary.

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Jack Jones played in 13 games with two starts last season, tallying 30 tackles, two interceptions, six passes defended, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images