The New England Patriots are going to be without at least one top cornerback on their depth chart when they make the trip to Germany this weekend. And they’re doing it on purpose.
According to Ian Rapoport, JC Jackson won’t be making the trip out to Frankfurt with the Patriots, who will take on the Indianapolis Colts at the Waldstadion. Rapoport alluded to “reliability” problems, then Albert Breer later tweeted that Jackson was late to the team hotel on Saturday and that played into why he started Sunday’s game on the bench.
Frankly, that added context is not surprising. Jackson notably started last Sunday’s loss to the Washington Commanders on the sideline, before ultimately playing 53 snaps (68 percent), third-most among Patriots cornerbacks.
The loss to Washington marked the second straight rough Sunday for Jackson, for a number of reasons. He allowed a passer rating of 131.5 in Week 8 against the Dolphins, dinged for five catches, 94 yards, and two touchdowns (via Pro Football Focus). His opposing passer rating against the Commanders was 77.1 with no TDs allowed, but it’s now clear that confidence in Jackson has waned in recent weeks.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick denied that he deliberately benched Jackson and Jack Jones to begin Sunday’s game. “Everybody played. They all played,” Belichick said when pressed on the matter. Jones drew added attention to himself after the game, when he left the building without speaking to the media then spoke his mind on Twitter.
Clearly, the Patriots have more trust in Shaun Wade, who started against the Commanders, to play his best football against the Colts in Germany, than they do in Jackson.