BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots’ worst fears for Cyrus Jones have been confirmed: an MRI revealed that the second-year cornerback and punt returner will miss the entire 2017 season with a torn ACL and partially torn meniscus.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport first confirmed the season-ending injury via Twitter on Friday. Jones suffered the injury in the second quarter of the Patriots’ fourth preseason game against the Giants, going down without contact after chasing Giants receiver Travis Rudolph. The Patriots feared at the time that a torn ACL was likely.
Jones was not going to be a factor in the secondary, but did flash his dynamic return ability during the preseason. With Jones and receiver Julian Edelman both out for the season, the Patriots will need to look elsewhere for punt return duties. Danny Amendola (147 career punt returns) is the most likely candidate, while Dion Lewis has returned 34 kicks in his career but has never returned a punt.
The Jones injury could also give running back D.J. Foster or cornerback Will Likely better chances of making the Patriots’ 53-man roster after final cutdowns on Saturday.
Jones, a 2016 second-round pick out of Alabama, struggled mightily on punt returns in his rookie year with the Patriots. If and when his chance at redemption comes, it will have to wait another season due to this unfortunate setback.