After a two straight days off, the New England Patriots returned to the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium today for their tenth overall training camp session. While the team again did not have perfect attendance, the three players remaining on the physically unable to perform list have apparently all passed their physicals after being placed on the list before camp opened in late July:
SS Nate Ebner
CB Cyrus Jones
CB Jonathan Jones
All three players ended last year on injured reserve after suffering season-ending injuries: Cyrus Jones tore his ACL during 2017’s preseason, while Nate Ebner tore his three months later in November. Jonathan Jones, meanwhile, injured his ankle during the Patriots’ divisional round playoff game against the Tennessee Titans and was lost for the remainder of the postseason.
With the three defenders being activated off PUP, they can no longer return to the list. This, in turn, means that all three will have to fight for spots on New England’s 53-man roster like everybody else. While Ebner should be considered a lock to do just that considering his status as a core special teamer, the Joneses will now have to enter a crowded cornerback depth chart and competition.
Jonathan Jones, the Patriots’ number four cornerback from a year ago, is projected to fight primarily against Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson, and Ryan Lewis. Cyrus Jones is also part of this battle, but has one distinct advantage: his abilities to serve as a kickreturner. As a result, Jones will primarily push young punt returners/wide receivers Braxton Berrios and Riley McCarron.