The decision by Bill Belichick to bench J.C. Jackson over the last two weeks, even not allowing the cornerback to take the trip to Germany for Sunday's game, has remained a topic of discussion around New England.
Rumors have filtered out by various reporters claiming to have inside sources about what really went down, with most alleging it was mainly due to "reliability and performance issues." That seemed to be true since Jackson was seemingly benched to start last week's matchup against the Commanders, but he eventually did take the field for a good portion of the game.
That's what made the situation more confusing, even more so when it was announced he was being kept in Foxboro for their game vs. the Colts this week.
But now we have gotten a bit more context for why Bill Belichick seemingly decided to keep the cornerback off the field, as ESPN's Mike Reiss explained in his latest Sunday notes piece.
"Jackson wasn’t just late for curfew last week, the cornerback didn’t show up at the team hotel at all, according to a source familiar with (Bill) Belichick’s thinking on the decision to leave him behind for the team’s trip to Germany. Jackson also didn’t take part in pregame warmups last week, making it puzzling that he ultimately played 53 snaps in the loss to the Commanders. Belichick said he expects Jackson to be available moving forward, but how Jackson responds remains a wild card."
If there is any truth to these new details, it makes the entire situation more understandable. Missing curfews or not showing up at all isn't tolerated by any team in the league, never mind by a head coach who will outright bench a player for virtually no reason at all.
On top of the latest revelations, Jackson has struggled in the last few games, making many question the decision to trade for him from the Chargers earlier this season. The issues that appeared to end his time out west reared their ugly heads upon his return, which has become more significant with Christian Gonzalez and Marcus Jones missing the rest of the season.
This will ultimately become another intriguing story to follow when the Patriots get back to the States, especially since Belichick shared he expects Jackson will be back with the team as soon as the next game.