The New England Patriots entered the 2022 NFL Draft with some major questions at the cornerback position. And while they did not address them in the first round, they did eventually pick two players to bolster the depth at the group: Houston’s Marcus Jones was taken in the third round, with Arizona State’s Jack Jones coming off the board a round later.
The second Jones picked by New England is an able and experienced man cover corner who has starter-level upside on the outside. However, he also with some questions — most prominently about an off-field history that includes an arrest and subsequent house arrest, dismissal from USC, and team-mandated suspension in 2020.
How about his injury history, though? Let’s find out.
2017 (USC): Entering his second season at USC, Jones was forced to miss practice time in August due to a shoulder/arm ailment. However, the issue kept him sidelined for only a few days.
A mid-September game versus Texas saw Jones limp off the field after a tackle attempt. He did not miss any significant time after suffering the injury.
Jones hurt his right ankle in the Pac-12 title game against Stanford in September. He was unable to finish that game but eventually returned to the lineup later that month for the Cotton Bowl versus Ohio State.
2019 (Arizona State): After spending the 2018 season out of football at Moorpark College, Jones joined Arizona State but was unable to play at a full 100 percent. An ankle injury suffered before his arrival limited him throughout his 2019 campaign.
2020 (Arizona State): Jones was forced to leave the season opener versus USC on two different occasions because of an apparent left leg injury. He walked off the field under his own power each time. However, he still ended the 2020 season on the sidelines: the ASU coaching staff suspended him for fighting in practice in November, and he was a no-show for the final three games of the year.
2021 (Arizona State): Jones only entered the lineup during an October 8 game versus Stanford after a fellow cornerback Chase Lucas went down hurt. No injury for Jones was announced leading up to the game, so the reason for his early-contest absence is unknown.
Jones missed an entire week of practice plus the subsequent game versus USC in November due to an undisclosed injury. He was back on the field the following week
What it means for the Patriots
The Patriots did their due diligence on Jack Jones leading up to the draft, meeting him multiple times and staying in close contact throughout the process. They obviously wanted to get as complete a picture as possible on his off-the-field and medical history. Apparently, they felt good about what they found out.
His slight build — he measured at 5-foot-11, 171 pounds at the Scouting Combine — might lead to some durability concerns, but so far he has mostly held up. Sure, the ankle injuries suffered in 2017 and 2019 might be a potential concern but neither issue was a major one. The other ailments listed above are also minor in nature.
As a result, neither New England nor its fans should be worried about Jones entering the NFL.
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