The New England Patriots are playing the Buffalo Bills. The team has just two games left of the regular season. Buffalo is considered a threat, but the Miami Dolphins won’t really give the Patriots a headache. New England may play without their top slot cornerback in Saturday’s game against the Bills. Jonathan Jones missed second straight practice as he recovers from a groin injury that eliminated him from Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jones also plays safety for New England. He struggled in the past few weeks, and allowed touchdown passes in each of the Patriots’ last three games and four of the last five.
The cornerback is one of the team’s top cover players early in the season, and is considered a top choice for New England’s efforts to stop Bills slot receiver Cole Beasley. Jonathan allowed him just two catches on five targets for 26 yards during the Week 4 game. The 26-year-old has not missed a contest since the beginning of the 2018 season.
This is one of Beasley’s most productive seasons. He caught 60 passes for 670 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games. Beasley was able to catch seven passes for a game-high 75 yards against New England in September. Most of these numbers came against defenders other than Jones.
New England has played without cornerback Jason McCourty in recent games. The twin has missed three contests and was limited in another as he recovers from a groin issue. McCourty hasn’t missed a practice despite his injury. Will he play against the Bills?
If Jones and McCourty don’t suit up for the game, second-round draft pick Joejuan Williams likely would be given a larger role behind starters Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson. Williams hasn’t seen some meaningful playing time on defense as a rookie. He stacked just 36 total defensive snaps and sat out seven games as a healthy scratch.
How will the Patriots handle the pressure on Saturday? The Bills are a tough team, but they aren’t the best team in the FL. Head coach Bill Belichick sure has some tricks to use against Buffalo.