FOXBOROUGH – The primary query of Bill Belichick’s press conference following the Patriots’ 27-17 loss to the Chiefs was about J.C. Jackson.
Jackson didn’t play within the recreation. He was not listed amongst New England’s inactives. Was he accessible?
“No,” Belichick mentioned.
Why was he lively for the sport, however unavailable to play?
“He wasn’t accessible, depart it at that,” Belichick mentioned.
The Patriots’ depth at cornerback was already skinny, with Shaun Wade inactive due to an sickness. New England moved on from Jack Jones earlier within the season. Christian Gonzalez, Marcus Jones, and Isaiah Bolden are all on injured reserve.
Shortly after New England’s loss, ESPN’s Adam Schefter — citing Jackson’s agent, Neil Schwartz — mentioned that Jackson is coping with psychological well being points.
With Jackson unavailable, the Patriots began Alex Austin for the primary time this season.
Austin informed reporters after the sport that he discovered he was beginning proper earlier than the start of the sport.
“I felt prepared for the chance. I’ve been grinding for a very long time to get this chance. I simply was blessed sufficient to get that begin versus an awesome opponent, an awesome quarterback, and an awesome offense. I felt good and I felt assured to go on the market with a bunch of men I’ve been battling with day by day.”
Austin, 22, was a seventh-round decide within the 2023 NFL Draft. He started his profession with Buffalo, and had a stint with the Texans after being minimize. New England signed Austin final month after Houston let him go.
He mentioned he didn’t have any prior ties with the Patriots teaching employees earlier than becoming a member of the staff.
“Simply my uncle [Willie McGinest],” however no person on the staff moreover Jack Jones when he was right here. JuJu [Smith-Schuster] as nicely, Lengthy Seashore guys, however I didn’t know that I used to be going to finish up right here. I’m simply blessed to be right here, really.”
Jackson was benched earlier within the season for lacking mattress checks on the staff resort forward of the Commanders’ recreation. He started that recreation on the bench and didn’t journey with the staff to Germany. He later owned as much as the error within the locker room and mentioned it was a actuality verify for him.
This was the primary time Jackson missed a recreation for the reason that Germany journey.
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