The New England Patriots will be without a key member of their secondary and special teams.
Marcus Jones suffered a torn labrum and will be placed on injured reserve, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Thursday. While it isn't known how long Jones will be out for, the cornerback will miss at least four games due to being placed on injured reserve.
The second-year pro suffered the injury in the first half of Sunday's loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Jones had played a pivotal role in the Patriots' secondary to start the season. He was the team's primary slot corner to this point and earned a start in Week 2 due to Jonathan Jones' ankle injury. Luckily for the Patriots, Jonathan Jones has been back at practice this week but Jack Jones, the team's other top backup corner, is also on injured reserve due to a hamstring injury.
As a result of the injuries to the secondary, the Patriots signed a pair of cornerbacks to their practice squad on Thursday. Breon Borders and Azizi Hearn both signed practice squad deals, with Borders joining his 12th NFL team of his career while Hearn is an undrafted rookie.
In terms of other corners on the Patriots' roster, Christian Gonzalez has been an every-down player through the first two games of his NFL career. Shaun Wade has emerged on the scene this season in his third year in the league, stepping up in a backup role last week. The team also had seventh-round rookie Ameer Speed, who has mostly been used as a special teamer. Jalen Mills could also slot in at corner, too. He played corner for the Patriots in the last two seasons before shifting over to safety this season.
Marcus Jones has also served as the team's primary returner for most of the last season-plus. He recorded a game-winning punt return touchdown against the New York Jets last season and led the league in yards per return in 2022 (12.5), earning him first-team All-Pro honors.
PUNT RETURN TD WITH 5 SECONDS LEFT! @Patriots
— NFL (@NFL) November 20, 2022
Sixth-round rookie Demario Douglas mostly filled in for Jones at punt returner last week while Ty Montgomery got some time as the team's kick returner.