Cyrus Jones' homecoming was short-lived, as he's been signed off the Ravens practice squad by the New England Patriots. Jones must remain on the Patriots' 53-man roster for at least three weeks and was signed to a two-year deal, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The 24-year-old cornerback is a Baltimore native and Gilman High product. He joined the Ravens practice squad earlier this month after the Patriots released him on cutdown day, but they want him back now.
Jones was a second-round pick by the Patriots in 2016, but he struggled as a rookie, then missed last season with a torn ACL. To make room for Jones, the Patriots released running back Kenjon Barner.
When he rejoins the Patriots, Jones is expected to take over their punt return duties. Jones returned punts as a rookie with the Patriots, but he was never promoted to the 53-man roster in is brief time with the Ravens. Undrafted rookie Janarion Grant is the Ravens' returner after winning the job in preseason.
Grant had an electrifying 51-yard punt return in Week 1, when he broke several tackles and nearly scored. However, he muffed a punt in Week 1 and fumbled a return in Week 2. The Ravens were fortunate not to lose possession on either occasion, but Head Coach John Harbaugh has made it clear that Grant's ball security must improve.
"Yes, I'm concerned," Harbaugh said of Grant. "It's twice in two games, and you don't want to see that. Whether he fumbles or not catching the ball the first time, you want to see the ball secured. He did secure it well a number of times – high hangers, people buzzing around him two weeks ago in the rain. But any time the ball is on the ground, it is not a good situation. He knows that, and he's working hard at that. We'll kind of monitor that as we go here."
If Grant's ball-handling issues continue, turning to Jones will no longer be an option. The Ravens also have wide receiver/returner Tim White on the practice squad.
The Ravens added defensive back Makinton Dorleant to the practice squad to fill Jones' spot.