As the Patriots were preparing for their final game of the 2022 season, it was announced the team had moved Jake Bailey and Jack Jones from the injured list to reserve/suspended by the team.
At the time, no further details were released regarding why the pair were punished by the team, except for statements from each player's representatives which were released on Twitter.
Then the rumors began, mainly about what transpired leading to Jones' suspension.
Because the rookie cornerback had a checkered past from a situation during his time at MoonPark Community College, it was easy for reporters to paint a narrative that made Jones out to be the bad guy. That's exactly what Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer did when alleging the reason behind his suspension.
In his report, Breer claimed Jones essentially got into a disagreement with Bill Belichick to the point of "talking back" to the head coach.
"The Jack Jones thing, my understanding of how that went, he was late to rehab sessions, he missed rehab sessions. And I even think he talked back to Bill a little bit about it, to the point where Bill felt like he had to address it in a team meeting two Fridays ago."- Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated
Until this point, Jones hadn't addressed the situation or clarified what Breer alleged. But he took to Twitter earlier this week to clear the air and his name.
It appeared at the time of his tweet that Jones wasn't aware of where the rumor started or who alleged the incident happened. A follower quickly responded, tagging Breer and a screenshot of what he described happened to lead to Jones' suspension, allowing the cornerback to follow up his original tweet with a message to the reporter directly.
Since insiders and reporters tend to cite "sources" when reporting information, it's difficult to know when anything is indeed fact from rumor. But when a situation like a suspension is said to have happened due to a player disrespecting their coach after being deemed "problematic" during the draft, most hop on the bandwagon to believe the report must be legitimate.
It's good to see Jones stand up for himself and clear his name, mainly because he is a promising young player in the league, and a story like this could potentially impact his future and career. Plus, most players don't defend themselves from reporters, especially Patriots players, making this even more unique and applaudable.
Breer has seemingly chosen not to respond or clarify his original comments regarding the suspension and likely won't discuss it further.
Understandably, a reporter would want to stand by his work, but if a player you discussed calls you out for falsely reporting, maybe you shouldn't ignore it.