Today was a busy day so far for the New England Patriots. The team held its first practice session of the week leading up to the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, was present for press conferences and media meetings, and decided not to activate wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell to the active roster. As if that all is not enough, the Patriots have also opted to make a roster move.
As the team announced earlier today, cornerback Jonathan Jones has been placed on season-ending injured reserve. The 24-year old injured his ankle late during last week's divisional round playoff game against the Tennessee Titans and was unable to finish the game. As we now know, he will also not be able to finish the season.
Jones has been a productive player for the Patriots this year. The second-year man out of Auburn appeared in all 17 of the team's games so far as a slot cornerback and key special teamer. On defense, Jones was the primary player responsible for replacing injured Eric Rowe earlier in the year. In that role, he registered a combined 37 tackles, a sack and an interception as well as eight pass breakups - fourth-most on the team.
With Rowe back to full health, Jones' defensive playing time took a hit but he was still a core member of the Patriots' kicking units. His nine special teams tackles rank the gunner among the team-leaders in that category. It is therefore no surprise to hear team captain Matthew Slater say earlier today that it will take a team effort to replace Jones in the kicking game.
To fill Jones' spot on the 53-man roster, New England opted to re-sign return specialist and wide receiver Bernard Reedy. The 26-year old spent time earlier this season on both the Patriots' practice squad and active roster and appeared in two games for the team returning four punts for a combined 32 yards. Reedy was released two weeks ago but is now back with the team.