FOXBORO, Mass. — Bill Belichick knows Marcus Jones’ injury could be a costly one for the Patriots.

Jones was arguably the NFL’s most versatile player as a rookie last season. He played 370 snaps at cornerback and grabbed two interceptions. He played 18 snaps at wide receiver and caught one touchdown.

And, most notably, he was a first-team All-Pro punt returner, becoming the first NFL player in more than 45 years to score a pick-six, a receiving touchdown and a punt-return touchdown in the same season.

Now, the Patriots will be without him for at least the next four games. Jones suffered a shoulder injury — reportedly a torn labrum — in last Sunday’s 24-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins and officially was placed on injured reserve Friday.

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Head coach Bill Belichick wouldn’t say whether Jones’ injury could end his season, but the 24-year-old will be unavailable for the next month at minimum. Per NFL rules, the earliest he could return is Week 7 against the Buffalo Bills.

“He’s on IR for right now, so he’ll be out for a while,” Belichick said during an unusually brief Friday morning news conference.

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Belichick called the injury “unfortunate.”

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“I would say he had a really good rookie year,” he said. “Explosive player.”

With fellow 2022 draft pick Jack Jones also on IR for at least the next two weeks, the Patriots suddenly are dangerously shorthanded at cornerback.

They still have a solid top trio with first-round rookie Christian Gonzalez and veteran Jonathan Jones on the outside and Myles Bryant in the slot, but there’s little depth behind them. And Jonathan Jones’ status for this Sunday’s matchup with the New York Jets is unclear after he missed last week’s game with an ankle injury.

The only other cornerback on New England’s 53-man roster is Shaun Wade, who’s played less than 50 defensive snaps in his three-year career. The Patriots also have recent practice squad additions William Hooper, Breon Borders and Azizi Hearn.

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One option to bolster this group would be switching Jalen Mills back from safety to cornerback, where he was one of the Patriots’ primary starters in 2021 and ’22. New England changed Mills’ position this spring, and though he’s better suited for his new chess-piece safety role, he hasn’t seen much playing time this season, logging just 22 snaps over the first two games.

Asked whether moving Mills is a possibility, Belichick replied: “Sure. He’s played out there.”

As for how the head coach feels about New England’s cornerback depth with both second-year Joneses out?

“It’s the depth we have,” Belichick said.

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Expect either Bryant or rookie receiver Demario Douglas to take over Jones’ punt-return duties. Douglas did so against Miami despite being benched on offense for losing a fumble.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images