Eric Reid's dangerous hit to Ben Watson's head sends Patriots TE to locker room

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Eric Reid's dangerous hit to Ben Watson's head sends Patriots TE to locker room

FOXBORO -- New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson was slow to get up late in the first quarter of Thursday night's preseason game at Gillette Stadium after taking a late hit to the head.

Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid came in after Watson had already been tackled and threw a shoulder that appeared to make contact with Watson's head. 

Here's a look at the play:

Watson sat up on the ground for a few moments before walking off the field under his own power with his helmet off. He went to the locker room shortly after, where he likely will be checked for a possible concussion.

Reid's hit was over the line in any setting, and especially a preseason game.

It's not the first time we've seen this kind of hit from him, either. Reid has a history of going overboard with egregious hits. He was ejected from a game last November for a head hit on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Earlier in the 2018 season, Reid tackled Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz well after a hanfoff and then did what looked like a wrestling move on tight end Zach Ertz.

The Patriots are a bit thin at tight end following the retirement of Rob Gronkowski in March. Watson will miss the first four games of the upcoming regular season due to a failed drug test.

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Updated Patriots cornerback depth chart after Michael Jackson trade with Lions

Updated Patriots cornerback depth chart after Michael Jackson trade with Lions

The New England Patriots added even more depth to an elite group of cornerbacks Sunday by acquiring Michael Jackson in a trade with the Detroit Lions.

Jackson, who's listed at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, was a fifth-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. The Detroit Lions signed him off the Cowboys practice squad last season and he played in one game for the NFC North team.

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Here's an updated look at the Patriots' cornerback depth chart with Jackson in the fold:

--Stephon Gilmore
--Jason McCourty
--J.C. Jackson
--Jonathan Jones
--Joejuan Williams
--Michael Jackson
--Myles Bryant
--D’Angelo Ross

It should be noted that Justin Bethel is listed at cornerback, but most of his snaps come on special teams. 

A strong case could be made that cornerback is the deepest position on the Patriots roster. The group is led by Stephon Gilmore, who became the first Patriot ever to win the AP's NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2019. Gilmore is the league's best cornerback and has earned first team All-Pro selections in back-to-back seasons. 

He's not the only talented cornerback in the Patriots secondary, though. 

J.C. Jackson excelled in coverage last season, too, especially on passes beyond 20 yards. In fact, Jackson had the lowest passer rating allowed when targeted of all cornerbacks in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus.

One of the most intriguing players in the Patriots secondary is second-year cornerback Joejuan Williams. He was a second-round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2019 but saw limited playing time as a rookie.

The depth of the Patriots defense has been hit hard in recent months due to free agent departures and veterans opting out of the 2020 season amid concerns over COVID-19. One position that has remained largely intact is cornerback, and barring any significant injuries, it could be the team's most productive position this coming season.

Patriots acquire CB Michael Jackson in trade with Lions

Patriots acquire CB Michael Jackson in trade with Lions

The New England Patriots have added another cornerback to their depth chart.

On Sunday, they announced they've acquired Michael Jackson from the Detroit Lions for an undisclosed 2022 draft pick.

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Jackson was selected in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft (158th overall) by the Dallas Cowboys out of Miami. He started his rookie season on Dallas' practice squad before being signed by Detroit.

The 23-year-old played in only one game last season for the Lions.

Jackson joins a Patriots cornerback group that currently consists of Stephon Gilmore, Jonathan Jones, Joejuan Williams, Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson, D'Angelo Ross, Justin Bethel, and Myles Bryant.