The New England Patriots have an open spot on their 53-man roster: as the team announced earlier today, it has waived backup cornerback and punt returner Cyrus Jones. The writing for the move was on the wall after wide receiver Julian Edelman returned from a four-game suspension and immediately took over punt return duties again – relegating Jones to a spot on the inactives list during Thursday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Jones originally joined the Patriots as a second-round draft pick in 2016. After struggling mightily early on during his rookie season on both defense and special teams, and effectively being redshirted afterwards, the Alabama product appeared to be on his way to bounce back one year later. However, he tore his ACL in the preseason and was subsequently placed on season-ending injured reserve.
After getting released during 2018’s roster cuts, Jones was added to the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad. Two weeks later, New England added him to its active roster again: Jones appeared in two games for the team as a depth defender and punt returner. The 24-year old looked solid – returning five kicks for 45 yards – but failed to hold onto the job after Edelman was activated to the 53-man roster. His release is therefore no surprise.
The move now creates an open spot on New England’s active team. One player to potentially fill it is running back Mike Gillislee. The former Patriot joined the New Orleans Saints after his release in early September but was let go again earlier today. With the team currently having only two healthy running backs on its roster – James White and Sony Michel – adding an experienced player like Gillislee would make sense.