The New England Patriots value versatility, and Marcus Jones has been the definition of that over the last few games.
Not only has the rookie seen increased time at his natural cornerback position, but he continues to be a difference-maker returning kicks and punts as well as getting into offense to give New England’s offensive attack the added dynamic it desperately needs.
Jones’ versatility in multiple areas certainly caught the eye of second-year quarterback Mack Jones, who was impressed with his teammate’s ability to contribute to the offense along with other responsibilities.
“He’s a smart player,” Mack Jones told reporters after practice at the University of Arizona, according to a transcript provided by the team. “Does a great job on defense, obviously, we see that and obviously on special teams. He’s a Swiss Army knife type of player and working with him, he’s done a good job. He’s in the right spot, he knows what to do and he cares. So that’s the big three. thing. Everything else will take care of itself, the plays and all that. He’s doing a really good job.”
Marcus Jones had full duties in Monday’s 27-13 road win over the Arizona Cardinals. The 5-foot-8, 185-pound cornerback played a season-high 89% of the team’s snaps with Jack Jones out with an injury and Jalen Mills not suiting up. Marcus Jones also managed — even against the talented DeAndre Hopkins — recording his first career touchdown.
Jones also saw an increase in playing time on the other side of the ball, with offensive play caller Matt Patricia likely seeing Jones’ breakaway speed as something he wanted to use in a screen-heavy game plan. Jones played eight offensive snaps and recorded one reception for 12 yards.
It was just the second time this season the Patriots have walked Jones on offense, the first coming in a Week 13 loss to the Buffalo Bills. In that contest, he showed why New England started his offense with a 48-yard short pass for a touchdown.