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Patriots cornerback Marcus Jones will miss the rest of the season, in accordance with broad receivers coach Troy Brown.
Jones left the loss in opposition to Miami in Week 2 with a shoulder damage he suffered in the course of the second quarter. The Patriots positioned him on injured reserve 5 days later, on Oct. 22. The damage is reported to be a torn labrum.
The 5-foot-8-inch, 188-pound cornerback earned first-team All-Professional honors as a punt returner throughout his rookie season final 12 months.
With Jones out, the Patriots have given rookie receiver Demario Douglas alternatives to return punts.
“I feel he’s labored his butt off doing that,” Brown mentioned. “Hopefully he continues to enhance with these duties with Marcus being out for the 12 months now. So regardless of the scenario is, it’s simply, you realize, he can get again there and have some confidence and now we have confidence in him getting again there and fielding the punts, fielding them cleanly and making good selections.”
Jones led the league in punt-return yards with 362 on 29 makes an attempt final 12 months for a median of 12.5 per return. His game-winning rating in opposition to the Jets was one in every of simply three punt returns for touchdowns in the complete league.
Jabrill Peppers, who gained the Huge Ten’s Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Yr award at Michigan in 2016, has fielded 4 punts for the Patriots this season. Jones had three makes an attempt in the course of the two video games he performed in. Myles Bryant gained 14 yards on his solely punt return of the season.
However the bulk of the duties have gone to Douglas, who has six of the crew’s 14 makes an attempt.
Brown mentioned he received to know Douglas in the course of the Shrine Bowl earlier than the Patriots chosen him within the sixth spherical of the 2023 draft. Douglas’s quickness and thirst for information stood out.
“He simply appeared like a child who beloved soccer, after which he additionally had some quickness and was capable of catch the ball and get open,” Brown mentioned. “These are the issues that caught my eye on the tape.
“Clearly, when he was there, he didn’t apply rather a lot with the video games and conditions that go on there. However I simply favored the child. He was and he sat within the conferences and he discovered.
“When he was capable of get on the market, he went and did fairly good. And, you realize, received to see him once more on the mix. So I assumed he was a formidable child.”
Placing it in movement
The Patriots scored a season-high 29 factors Sunday in opposition to the Payments. The offensive line, boosted by Mike Ownenu’s shift to proper sort out, allowed just one sack. Mac Jones was 25 of 30 passing for 272 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
A noticeable a part of the efficiency was the quantity of pre-snap movement that the Patriots have been capable of work into their scheme.
Offensive coordinator Invoice O’Brien didn’t go into a lot element when requested concerning the benefits that the movement brings to the offense.
“I feel that’s in all probability extra of a query you possibly can ask me in a couple of years,” O’Brien mentioned. “I’m not going to inform these issues, you realize what I imply?
“I simply suppose it’s a week-to-week deal. We’re going to do what’s greatest for our offense, to attempt to transfer the ball weekly no matter that is perhaps. It is perhaps movement, it is perhaps no movement, we’ll see the way it goes.”
Jones praised O’Brien on the TV broadcast after the sport, saying that he favored the aggressive method and O’Brien’s use of ideas that Jones discovered at Alabama.
“There’s some issues that we do that basically are nonetheless the muse of this offense that perhaps we do on a week-to-week foundation that perhaps gown issues up a little bit bit otherwise and issues like that,” O’Brien mentioned.
“So whether or not it was Alabama or perhaps 12 years in the past New England offense, no matter it’s, we’re all the time going to attempt to do issues to place our guys in the fitting positions to make it the place Mac can actually talk what he has to speak and get issues performed.”
Bringing the vitality
Kendrick Bourne, who has a team-high 370 receiving yards and three touchdowns, has been New England’s most constant receiver this season. He has 51 targets, which is 20 greater than Hunter Henry, who’s second on the record.
Brown lauded Bourne for the vitality he brings and his turnaround from a tough season final 12 months.
“He’s made a 180 together with his private life and that’s the largest factor,” Brown mentioned. “However, as a soccer participant, he’s KB. He loves soccer. He loves being on the market. He loves enjoying.
“You may see it when he’s dancing across the area and all of the stuff that he does. It brings lots of vitality to our soccer crew.”
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