The New England Patriots are back on the practice fields, and so is Jonathan Jones. The veteran defensive back ended his 2021 campaign on injured reserve due to a shoulder injury, but he has been a full participant during both organized team activities open to the media so far.
Jones originally hurt his shoulder last October, and later underwent surgery to address the issue. He spoke about his recovery process following Tuesday’s practice, noting that he always felt at 100 percent from a mental but not necessarily a physical perspective.
“It was day-by-day,“ the 28-year-old said. “Any injury there’s ups and downs, setbacks. You feel good one day, you don’t the next, but you just keep grinding. And then the end goal is for the season and to be ready to go.“
A former rookie free agent who joined the Patriots back in 2016, Jones established himself as the team’s primary slot cornerback over the last few years. He appeared in a combined 93 regular season and playoff games over his first six seasons with the organization — including two successful Super Bowls — but had only six in-game appearances during his injury-shortened 2021 campaign.
Before his shoulder injury, Jones was on the field for roughly half of New England’s defensive snaps. He registered 20 tackles and an interception while giving up 22 completions on 34 targets.
Heading into his seventh NFL season off the first major injury of his career, the Auburn product appears to be trending in the right direction. His full participation during the voluntary OTAs is evidence of that, as are his post-practice remarks this week.
“Feeling good, just improving day by day,“ he said. “Taking advantage of the time I’m having this offseason, getting ready for the season.”
Jones and the Patriots held their sixth organized team activity on Thursday. They will reconvene next Tuesday for their mandatory minicamp.