Seeking punt returner, Patriots sign CB Cyrus Jones

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots have signed cornerback Cyrus Jones to their 53-man roster off the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad and could help address the team's need for a punt returner.

The Ravens confirmed that Jones had been claimed by the Patriots. Jones, a 2016 second-round draft choice by New England, signed a two-year deal, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The Patriots had released Jones at the final roster cuts on Sept. 1. The Alabama alum had a rocky rookie season in New England and missed the 2017 season after tearing his ACL in the final preseason game. In 2018 training camp, he never emerged in the competition for a backup spot at cornerback with Jonathan Jones, veteran Jason McCourty and rookies J.C. Jackson and Keion Crossen, all of whom made the club.

But two games into the season, Jones now has greater value to the Patriots, specifically as a punt returner.

On one play in Sunday's loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Patriots went without a punt returner, leaving that part of the field vacant after top option Patrick Chung had left the game with a concussion.

In the season opener, second-year receiver Riley McCarron returned punts and had one attempt bounce off his face mask. He was waived the next day.

While Jones had struggled as a returner in his rookie season with the Patriots, he was dynamic in college, with 46 returns for 618 yards and four touchdowns.