After fielding a touchback to kick off New England’s second offensive drive of the night, cornerback Marcus Jones did not make his way immediately to the sideline. He entered the offensive huddle for a brief moment before quickly being signaled to the sideline.
Six plays later, Jones reentered the game and joined the huddle for his first offensive snap of the season. He immediately got a touch on a quick screen pass and showcased his playmaking ability, taking it 48 yards for a score — the Patriots’ lone touchdown of their 24-10 defeat to the Buffalo Bills.
“It was one of those situations where you have to be ready, no matter what it is,” the rookie said after the game. “That’s a Mac [Jones] read and whatever he sees, that’s what we go with.”
The play should come as no surprise, as Jones was awarded with the Paul Hornung Award in 2021 as the most versatile player in major college football. Throughout his entire college career, he handled 19 total offensive touches, piling up 146 yards and a score.
He explained after the game that this was the first week, however, he’s practiced on offense since New England selected him in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
“It was one of those situations where it was a week thing,” he said. “So, Coach came and took me and asked me about different things and everything and then I mean, there isn’t too much to it after that. Just came in and tried to do it as Coach said.”
It wasn't Jones’ only offensive touch of the day, as he recorded another short reception for three yards later in the game. He’s appeared to earn the coaches’ trust in that role, providing New England with a potential offensive spark for the stretch run.
“It definitely means a lot,” Jones said. “Just coming in and making sure I’m one of those people to where I try to keep my head down and just keep working and things like that. For the coaches to trust me, that means a lot.”