Following a series of roster moves over the weekend, the New England Patriots were left with one open spot each on their 53-man active roster and their 16-player practice squad. While it remains to be seen how the club tackles the vacancy on the 53 — reactivating one of the four players now eligible to come off injured reserve is an option — we know how the 16th spot on the developmental roster will likely be filled.
As first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Patriots have re-signed cornerback Michael Jackson via their practice squad after he had already spent some time during training camp with the team.
Jackson originally arrived in the league as a fifth-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound defender started his rookie campaign on the Cowboys’ practice squad, but was signed to the Detroit Lions’ 53-man roster in late October. He went on to appear in one game for his new club, and played two snaps on special teams without registering any statistics. Jackson’s stint in Detroit came to an end this summer, though.
The Patriots sent a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2022 draft to the Lions to acquire the 23-year-old via trade. He went on to participate in New England’s training camp — seeing some high-intensity battles with wide receiver N’Keal Harry along the way — but failed to crack arguably the deepest cornerback group in the NFL. Jackson’s release in early September was therefore not that big a surprise.
Now, he is back in New England to further bolster the team’s depth at cornerback.
The Patriots currently have seven cornerbacks on their active roster: Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Joejuan Williams, Justin Bethel and Myles Bryant. They also have D’Angelo Ross on their practice squad to offer another developmental option in case of emergency. Adding Jackson to the group may not immediately have an impact on the team’s defense, but it ensures that the position remains one of the NFL’s most talented from top to bottom.