A pair of key New England Patriots players appear to be facing discipline from the team.
Punter Jake Bailey and cornerback Jack Jones were both moved from injured reserve to the reserve/suspended list, implying that they were suspended by the team, ESPN’s Field Yates first reported on Friday.
Jones’ agent released a statement confirming the report, via Mike Garofolo:
“I’m aware of the situation involving my client Jack Jones,” J. Tooson said. “Jack is focusing on recovering and getting back to help the Patriots as soon as possible. Regarding the suspension, it appears to be a miscommunication regarding Jack’s rehab process. I’m hopeful we’ll reach an amicable resolution for both Jack and the Patriots.”
Statement from @jtoosonlaw, agent for #Patriots CB Jack Jones, regarding Jones’ being placed on the reserve/suspended list today. pic.twitter.com/fQg0fyeBcl
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 6, 2023
Jones suffered a knee injury early in the Patriots’ Week 14 win over the Arizona Cardinals. He told reporters after that game that he didn’t expect to miss time, but missed the following two games before being placed on injured reserve last week.
Jones was in the midst of a standout rookie season prior to the injury. He recorded two interceptions, including a pick-6 against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Week 4, and allowed only 20 receptions on 39 targets for 306 yards with a touchdown allowed, meaning opposing quarterbacks had a 64.7 passer rating when targeting him. Jones was actually one of the highest-graded corners in all of football in the first 10 games of the season by Pro Football Focus but some struggles in his final three games knocked him down a peg.
Prior to Friday’s news, Jones would’ve been eligible to return if the Patriots made the playoffs and advanced to the AFC Championship Game. It’s unknown how long he’ll be on the suspended list.
For Bailey, the punter was placed on injured reserve due to a back injury in November. He returned to practice in recent weeks but Patriots coach Bill Belichick actually told reporters earlier Friday that his activation time had passed, meaning his season is over.
Bailey struggled this season after receiving a four-year, $13.5 million contract extension that made him one of the highest-earning punters in the league. He averaged just 42.1 yards per punt this season, which was the lowest yards per punt in the league at the time he was placed on injured reserve.
Bailey’s suspension could reportedly void his guaranteed salary in 2023 as he has a $3.415 million cap hit.