‘We’ll see’: What Bill Belichick said about J.C. Jackson, injured players vs. Saints

Patriots

Jackson was reacquired by the team earlier this week, but practiced on Thursday and Friday.

J.C. Jackson could make his official return to the playing field for the Patriots on Sunday. AP Photo/John Bazemore

The Patriots have a bunch of players who are in limbo for Week 5.

The Pats had 10 players limited in practice this week ahead of Sunday’s game against the Saints. That doesn’t include Matthew Judon and Christian Gonzalez, who have practiced this week even though they reportedly have injuries that will cost them multiple months, if not the rest of the season.

That list of 10 players also doesn’t include J.C. Jackson, who the Patriots reacquired this week when they traded for him from the Chargers. The cornerback practiced Thursday and Friday after news of the trade broke on Wednesday.

Bill Belichick left the door open for Jackson to play on Sunday.

“We’ll see. We’ll see how it goes,” Belichick told reporters Friday when asked on Jackson’s potential availability for Week. “He got a few snaps yesterday, see how it goes today. We have a few moving parts here, so just got to figure it out here as we get to the end of the week.”

Belichick seemed happy to have Jackson back in New England, where he played for the first four seasons of his career before signing with Los Angeles in 2022.

“Good to see J.C.,” Belichick said. “You know, try to get him caught up here and see how that goes, but got him in here late Wednesday night, Thursday, so catching up with him.”

Even though Jackson isn’t on the injury report, the Patriots could make a healthy scratch on Sunday or just opt not to play him. But the Patriots are thin at cornerback entering Week 5. In addition to Gonzalez, both Marcus Jones and Jack Jones remain on injured reserve. Jonathan Jones has also missed the last three games due to an ankle injury.

Belichick implied that Jonathan Jones has a shot of playing on Sunday.

“It’s good to have Jonathan back out there this week,” Belichick said. “He did some things last week and was able to do more this week. So, coming to the end of the week and see where we are with him, but certainly a lot closer than he was this time last week.

“It will probably be today, maybe tomorrow, that we’ll make a decision on this, but I’d say that he’s got a chance.”

This week marked the first week that players on injured reserve and the physically unable to perform lists could practice. Riley Reiff, Cody Davis, and Trey Flowers were the only three players from those lists to practice this week.

Belichick said it was “good to have” all three players back out on the practice field in the lead up to Sunday’s game. Reiff could be the most impactful return of the group, though. He earned snaps with the starting unit at right tackle during training camp and the preseason prior to getting placed on injured reserve.

As the Patriots’ offensive line has struggled in the early part of the season, Belichick didn’t say whether Reiff was locked into either playing guard or tackle at this point.

“It’s always good to have versatility when you can have it, not everybody gives you that, but some guys do,” Belichick said. “He’s comfortable playing different spots. Some guys need to lock in to one spot, and he’s comfortable doing multiple things. He gives us that versatility if we need it, at both spots — guard and tackle.”


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