EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Some leftover notes and nuggets from Thursday’s preseason finale between the New England Patriots and New York Giants at MetLife Stadium, which the Patriots won 17-12.
— Cornerback Cyrus Jones played nearly the entire game for New England, returning every kickoff and punt and serving as the Patriots’ slot cornerback.
It was just Jones’ second game back since suffering a season-ending torn ACL in Week 4 of the 2017 preseason.
“(Friday) will mark a year since my injury,” the third-year pro told reporters. “It’s been a long process. I’ve put in a lot of work. A lot of people have helped me out along the way, and it felt really good to get back out there through a whole game and see how my knee held up for a whole game. I thought it was a solid performance.”
Though he wasn’t given much room to impress as a returner (10 total yards on three punt returns; touchbacks on all three kick returns), Jones played well in coverage, allowing three catches on five targets for 14 yards.
“I felt like I covered really well (Thursday night),” he said after the game. “… I felt like I had solid coverage the whole night.”
Jones, a 2016 second-round draft pick, has risen to the occasion in his few opportunities this summer. The question now is whether the Patriots will have a spot for him on their 53-man roster, which must be finalized by 4 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Complicating matters for him is the fact that wide receiver Riley McCarron ran through a pregame workout Thursday and was given the night off — usually an indication that a player has made the team. McCarron has been Jones’ top competition for the role as fill-in punt returner until wideout Julian Edelman returns from his four-game suspension.
— Wide receiver Braxton Berrios dressed for the Patriots after missing the last two games but never saw the field. The sixth-round draft pick played just 16 snaps this preseason — all in Week 1 against the Washington Redskins — and caught one pass for 3 yards. He won’t be making the roster.
— Corey Bojorquez’s Patriots tenure will end without him ever appearing in a game. The undrafted rookie punter did not take a single snap in any of New England’s four preseason contests. Ryan Allen will keep his job.
— There were plenty of hugs and high fives to go around during pregame warmups as the Patriots reunited with former teammate Nate Solder.
Solder, New England’s starting left tackle from 2012 to 2017, signed a four-year, $62 million contract with the Giants this past spring.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady glowingly spoke about his relationship with Solder last week during an interview with WEEI’s “Kirk & Callahan.”
— For players who already have locked down spots on the 53-man roster, the fourth preseason game is a time to kick back, relax and have some fun.
Case in point:
Thumbnail photo via Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports Images