Why didn’t cornerback Jason McCourty play in the Patriots’ preseason opener?
“The guys we played, we played,” coach Bill Belichick said Monday morning at Gillette Stadium. “The guys we didn’t play, we didn’t play. We’ll play other guys this week and see how it goes.”
McCourty didn’t express any concern after his DNP in Thursday’s game against the Washington Redskins, but the lack of action appears to be a growing trend. He also didn’t log any reps with the starting secondary during mandatory minicamp, remaining sidelined in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 play for an unknown reason.
It is possible the 31-year-old is dealing with or recovering from an injury of sorts, but he has yet to leave a practice to join rehabbing players on the lower fields. Belichick wouldn’t comment Monday on McCourty’s health.
“I’m not talking about anybody’s injury, so there’s no point in bringing that up,” he said. “We’re not going through that. Can’t look at everybody every week, there’s just too many guys. Some guys will play one week, others will play more the next week.”
Belichick had nothing but positive remarks about McCourty, calling him “very professional,” “hardworking,” and “smart.” He also said the nine-season NFL veteran has “picked things up well.” Though the compliments are encouraging, McCourty’s status with the team is by no means solidified. He could very well be cut from the roster, depending on how things shake out with other contending cornerbacks like Jonathan Jones, Cyrus Jones, J.C. Jackson, and Ryan Lewis.
“I’m trying not to put any thought process into it,” McCourty said Sunday. “One thing I really believe is, ‘Control what you can control.’ So for me, each and every day I get an opportunity, no matter what if I’m with the ones, twos, threes, fours. If your number is called and you get a rep, make the best of the rep.”