American Football

Personal injury history helps Patriots CB Marcus Jones in his latest recovery process

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NFL: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Jones missed a large portion of the season due to a torn labrum.

Marcus Jones has been down this road before. The New England Patriots’ cornerback, who had to end his 2023 sophomore campaign on injured reserve, has experience when it comes to recovering from shoulder ailments.

He rehabbed both of his shoulders leading up to the 2022 draft, when he was selected 85th overall in the third round by the Patriots. Two years later, he is again working his way back from a shoulder issue; he tore his labrum in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins and had to sit out the remainder of the season as a result.

For the 25-year-old, his personal history serves as a road map for returning to full speed quickly.

“I’m a champ at this, so I know exactly what to do,” Jones recently told the Eye on Foxborough podcast. “I’ve been through two before, so this is just one. So, I’m good.”

Seeing action in all three phases of the game — a continuation of his college career at Troy and Houston — Jones showed considerable promise as a rookie. Not only was he voted first-team All-Pro as a punt returner, he also received extensive experience as a starter-level cornerback and was a utility player on offense.

In fact, Jones ended up scoring touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams. He became the first ever rookie to accomplish that feat, and the first player in the league in 45 years to do so.

Entering Year 2, the hope was that he would build on this solid foundation. However, a seemingly routine tackle attempt against Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle changed the trajectory of his season: instead of continuing his development, Jones had to focus on rehabilitation work.

“It was really tough in the sense of being out there. I wanted to be out there with my teammates. Went through the hard offseason and training camp and things like that,” Jones said.

“But I’m locked in. I’m going to make sure my body is doing good, and everything like that. Definitely want to be out there with my brothers, and I’m going to make sure to take care of every opportunity that comes up — every snap and every meeting, and everything like that. I’m ready to get back to it in 2024.”

Almost six months removed from his latest shoulder injury, Jones is trending in a positive direction; the goal of being ready for the regular season is a realistic one. As he pointed out, however, he has to remained locked in to remain on the right path toward a return.

“I’m doing great. Taking it day by day, body’s doing good,” he said. “I trust the organization, trust the medical staff to where I’ll definitely be good for the season and everything like that. But there’s ways and steps to everything, and to make sure that I’m fully healthy for the season.”

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