FOXBORO -- Cyrus Jones was so bad Thursday night that Tom E. Curran wondered if perhaps he just isn’t cut out for the position he’s been playing.
JAGUARS 31, PATRIOTS 24
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Lining up as an outside corner, he was burned twice for long touchdowns in Thursday’s preseason opener. Typically a 42-yard touchdown allowed would be one’s low point, but the second-year corner was burned by Keelan Cole for a 97-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Jones had his moments in the return game (he had a 27-yard return in the third quarter), but overall it was another ugly night for a 2016 second-round pick who’s struggled mightily in the NFL.
After starting at corner and facing difficulty with Jacksonville’s outside receivers, Jones lined up at safety late in the game.
The natural inclination is to think of the players who have moved from corner to safety, either due to age (Troy Vincent) or effectiveness (Devin McCourty). After a year-plus attempting to be a corner in the NFL, is safety the next move?
Bill Belichick wasn’t exactly forthcoming with that information. Shocker. He did note, however, that the Pats took three safeties into the game and didn’t have all three available to them at the end, suggesting that the Jones move was more out of need than curiosity.
Should Jordan Richards not make the team, it would be good for Belichick to know whether Jones could be an option at safety. The Pats aren’t exactly overflowing with safety depth behind McCourty, Patrick Chung and Duron Harmon.
Then there’s the option of simply making him a slot guy, as Curran suggested. Maybe the Pats try that more in the coming preseason games. They know that what they’re doing with Jones isn’t working so far. It’s their call whether the next move is to have Jones try a new position or a new team.