Jones eyes fresh start after 'one of the most challenging times in my life'

Jones eyes fresh start after 'one of the most challenging times in my life'

Cyrus Jones did not have the kind of rookie season he expected after being taken in the second round out of Alabama last year. He played in 10 games for the Patriots, saw 147 snaps in Bill Belichick's defense, and never got a handle on the returner role for which it seemed as though he was being groomed. 

His struggles in the return game seemed to snowball on him late in the season as he had difficulty juding punts against the Ravens in Week 13. One bounced off his foot, was recovered by the Ravens, and led to a Baltimore score soon thereafter. Another later in the game nearly grazed him again for a second fumble. 

MORE PATRIOTS

Jones returned one more punt in Week 16 against the Jets, but that was the last game for which he was dressed. He was not active for any of New England's three postseason games as both Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman were available as punt-returners.The team also had plenty of cornerbacks from which to choose with Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Eric Rowe and Jonathan Jones rounding out the game-day depth chart. 

After never getting his feet underneath him as a rookie, Cyrus Jones posted to Instagram -- and apparently deleted all older posts -- on Sunday night, indicating that he was looking forward to getting a fresh start next season.

"Reflecting back on my rookie season, this was by far one of the most challenging times in my life," he wrote. "I experienced a lot of pain, disappointment, embarrassment and overall dissatisfaction with myself. But through this time, I learned many lessons that as a man I can say I truly needed to learn..'Failure is another opportunity to begin again more intelligently' and the things I went through this year made me better and wiser.

"Regardless, I was blessed to be apart of something far greater than myself! I experienced the ultimate measure of success in this game we play...and did it with an even greater group of men and I'll never take that for granted. I was quickly reminded how much love and respect I have for this sport and also how much it means to so many people. So with that being said#patsnation , in 2017, 24 will be back and ready to work for the best fans in football! #revenge #godstimingnotmine#seeyallinyear2"

Jones could be in line for more work during his sophomore campaign since Ryan is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency and Malcolm Butler will be a restricted free agent. Though it seems unlikely that Butler will end up anywhere other than New England, if Ryan receives an enticing offer elsewhere, Jones would appear to be one of the primary contenders to play in the slot for defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Injuries piling up for Patriots

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Injuries piling up for Patriots

0:41 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their main takeaways from the Patriots win over the Saints and discuss the injuries sustained during the game, specifically Rob Gronkowski's.

6:23 - Holley, Giles, and Smith talk about David Price pitching his first innings out of the bullpen for the Red Sox, but Holley thinks it is a mistake that he is not starting.

11:21 - Abby Chins joins BST for a discussion about Kyrie Irving's appearance on First Take.

14:43 - We go around the NFL for week 2 of the season and talk about the most surprising and best teams in the league.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Stafford throws for 2 TDs as Lions beat Beckham, Giants

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MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Stafford throws for 2 TDs as Lions beat Beckham, Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- So far, so good for Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions. Eli Manning and the New York Giants are heading in the opposite direction.

Stafford threw for two touchdowns, rookie Jamal Agnew broke the game open with an 88-yard punt return and the Lions beat the Giants 24-10 on Monday night.

The Lions (2-0) sacked Eli Manning five times and Stafford put together another big game while sending the Giants (0-2) to a second straight disappointing performance. Star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. returned from a sprained left ankle, but New York still struggled offensively.

"We did a nice job of getting in the end zone early and our defense did what they do," Stafford said.

Stafford found Marvin Jones for a 27-yard touchdown in the first quarter and passed to Eric Ebron for a go-ahead 7-yarder in the second. Matt Prater added a 56-yard field goal just before halftime that bounced off the upright, helping the Lions to a 17-7 lead at the break.

Ezekiel Ansah had three sacks as Detroit joined Atlanta and Carolina as the only unbeaten teams in the NFC through Week 2. The Lions made the playoffs last season, but finished the year with four straight losses.

Beckham, a three-time Pro Bowler who missed the season opener, had four catches for 36 yards in limited action.

Manning threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Evan Engram on the first play of the second quarter, but the rookie tight end was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for a seemingly obscene gesture. It allowed the Lions to get the ball at the Giants 45 after the kickoff went out of bounds and Stafford drove them for a second score.

New York closed to 17-10 on Aldrick Rosas' 25-yard field goal early in the second half, but it wasted a chance for a TD. The Giants had first-and-goal at the 1 and then got pushed back to the 11 on a holding penalty on a first-down run.

"We talked about playing complete, complimentary football. By no stretch of the imagination did we do that tonight," said Ben McAdoo, who led the Giants to their first playoff berth since 2011 last season in his first year as head coach. "We've got to do better. We've dug ourselves in a hole. No one feels sorry for us. We've got to find a way to get better and get better in a hurry."

Agnew then helped clinch the game for Detroit with his big return with 12:56 left, faking out New York punter Brad Wing on his way to the end zone. It was the fifth-longest punt return in team history.

Manning was 22 for 32 for 239 yards for New York, while Stafford was 15 for 21 for 122 yards. The NFL's highest-paid player threw for four touchdowns in Detroit's season-opening victory against Arizona.

INJURIES

Lions SS Tavon Wilson (shoulder) left in the second half. ... The Giants lost starting RT Bobby Hart on the opening series. LG Justin Pugh moved to tackle and Brett Jones replaced him. Giants also played without starters MLB B.J. Goodson (lower leg) and CB Janoris Jenkins (ankle-hand). Backup LB J.T. Thomas (groin) was ruled out early in the second half.

MEMORY LANE

The Giants held a halftime ceremony to honor the 10th anniversary of their 2007 Super Bowl championship team. Coach Tom Coughlin and Hall of Famer Michael Strahan brought the Lombardi Trophy onto the field. New York beat the previously undefeated New England Patriots in the title game.

UP NEXT

Lions: host the undefeated Falcons on Sunday afternoon.

Giants: at Philadelphia for Sunday afternoon game.

CSNNE SCHEDULE