When the New England Patriots defense took the field last Sunday against the Washington Commanders, two players were suspiciously absent: cornerbacks J.C. Jackson and Jack Jones were not part of the lineup initially, with other players such as third-year man Shaun Wade instead seeing an increased role.
The two did eventually enter the game after two and three series, respectively, but their usage raised some questions — questions that were neither answered by head coach Bill Belichick nor by cornerbacks coach Mike Pellegrino. However, it does look like their apparent benchings were indeed of a disciplinary nature.
According to reports by Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer and ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Jackson and Jones violated curfew before the game. Even before home games, the Patriots stay in a hotel in order to make sure all of their players are well-rested and prepared.
Jackson ended up seeing playing 53 of a possible 78 defensive snaps versus the Commanders; Jones played 30 snaps. New England ended up losing the game 20-17 to fall to 2-7 on the year.
It remains to be seen how the team will handle Jones moving forward. As far as Jackson is concerned, meanwhile, there seem to be concrete concerns.
The former Pro Bowler, who was reacquired via trade earlier this season, will reportedly not participate in the team’s trip to Germany later this week, and consequently miss the upcoming game against the Indianapolis Colts. The team is hoping for a “mental reset” of sorts, and to get Jackson back after its Week 11 bye.