Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

4 Patriots who didn't do themselves any favors Thursday night in preseason opener

Ryan Hannable
August 11, 2017 - 9:08 am

FOXBORO -- The first preseason game rarely determines whether or not a player makes the final 53-man roster, but it certainly plays a part in it.

There were a number of Patriots who made strong cases on Thursday against the Jaguars, most notably Jacob Hollister and Austin Carr, but there were also a few players who went the other direction and did not do themselves any favors.

Here are four players who struggled Thursday night.

Cyrus Jones

It was not a good night for the second-year Alabama product. Jones was involved in the two big passing plays for the Jaguars as he got beat by Keelan Cole for a 97-yard touchdown in the first half and then a 42-yard touchdown pass to Dede Westbrook in the second half, although he may have been expecting safety help on that play. Jones appeared very frustrated on the field and declined to speak to reporters afterwards. Jones had looked good in practice before the game, as it appeared he had put his rookie struggles behind him. The Patriots even had him playing safety in the fourth quarter, which Bill Belichick said was due to a lack of available players. It's hard to imagine Belichick cutting a second-round pick in his second year, but Jones isn't making it an easy call.

Jordan Richards

Richards was another second-round pick who had issues on Thursday. Richards had a chance to bring down Corey Grant before his 79-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, but took a poor angle and missed him. He was also the safety for the two long touchdowns Jones allowed, and it's unclear if he was expected to help over the top on those plays. The 2015 second-rounder hasn't made much of an impact and was a healthy inactive down the stretch last season. He's the fourth safety on the roster and with the team experimenting with other players at safety -- Jones -- maybe this is the end of the road in New England for the Stanford product.

Cameron Fleming/LaAdrian Waddle

We combined these two players as both saw significant time at the tackle spots and both had issues. They made life difficult for Jimmy Garoppolo most of the night, as the quarterback needed to escape the pocket or step up to make his throws because of the poor protection on the edge. Besides rookies Tony Garcia and Conor McDermott, the pair are the only options left to serve as a backup tackles, which means it's likely at least one of them make the roster. Nonetheless, neither player gave themselves an advantage Thursday night.

Elandon Roberts

Roberts played a good amount in the game, which showed he's behind newcomer David Harris on the depth chart. The Houston product was on the field for Grant's 79-yard touchdown run and may have missed an assignment. He also left the game in the second half with an undisclosed injury. It's unlikely his roster spot is in danger, but with undrafted rookie Harvey Langi making plays behind him, Roberts could find himself looking over his shoulder at players gaining on him.

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