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The Patriots Will Be Hampered By The Suspensions Of These Players

The Patriots aren’t playing _______ in a game for non-injury related reasons. You could substitute any number of players into this blank, Malcolm Butler, Jonas Gray, etc… Now add to the list Jake Bailey and Jack Jones, who were both taken off the IR and not reinstated on the roster, but rather put on the reserve/suspended list.

What Do The Patriots Lose With Jack Jones?

Jack Jones has been a gamechanger for the Patriots this season. While his experience has occasionally shown this season, it has been far overshadowed by his ball-hawking skills, speed and athleticism. His six pass deflections and two interceptions (and a touchdown) underestimate the impact he has made in his limited playing time.

Without him, and given other injuries in the secondary, the Patriots may have no choice but to continue giving Myles Bryant more playing time, which could be disastrous given his poor form and the Bills’ powerful offense. Jones’ presence could have been really useful in creating valuable turnovers for the Patriots.

The Bills in particular have an offense with a large number of weapons, and from Diggs to Knox to Davis to McKinzie, the Patriots need not one but three excellent corners to defend them properly, and Jack Jones’ absence deprives them of necessary depth.

What Do The Patriots Lose With Jake Bailey?

While Bailey did exit having the worst average in the league, the next-worst average belongs to Michael Palardy, his replacement. In a rare turn of events for the Patriots, punting has been a massive problem this year, and the field position battles have usually been lost for this reason, despite, in Schooler and Slater, having one of the better punt coverage duos in the NFL.

However, there have been aspects where Bailey has been superior to Palardy. He hasn’t allowed a blocked punt this year, and he has downed 12 punts of his 37 inside the 20-yard line (to Palardy’s 9). Most importantly, though, Bailey has the potential to play a lot better than he did earlier this season, and when he had the seventh-best punting average in the NFL, he showed what he can be. This season is an aberration on what has otherwise been a solid career from Bailey.

Bailey’s the one who has punted in the big moments, in playoff games. In a game that essentially decides the Patriots’ season, Bailey’s the guy that should have been out there.

What’s Going On Here?

The confusing aspect is the “why” of it all. The reports say that for Jack Jones, it was because he missed rehab sessions, and for Jake Bailey, there was a discrepancy between his and the teams’ opinion on his recovery time. The Patriots don’t tend to make exceptions for bigger game and for internal disagreements, have continually left out integral players.

Jack and Jake aren’t the only situations where conversations around rehab haven’t gone well, see Mac Jones’ recovery for another example. Simply put, this is too big of a game to leave out two important Patriots.

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