Jake Bailey files complaint to address Patriots’ ‘unknown’ suspension

Jake Bailey files complaint to address Patriots’ ‘unknown’ suspension

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“That’s a surprise given his full participation during injury reserve.”

Jake Bailey is out for the season after being placed on the suspension list retroactive to December 31 on Friday. AP Photo/Steven Senne

Jake Bailey steps in a day after his surprise suspension by the Patriots.

The fourth-year punter is filing an appeal against the suspension, Bailey’s agent Doug Hendrickson said in a statement to NFL Network on Saturday while his client is still recovering from a back injury.

“While Jake Bailey was on IR, he didn’t miss a single treatment, session or exercise,” Hendrickson said. “He was hoping to leave IR to play last weekend but Jake was informed he was suspended for those last two games. This is surprising given his full participation during injury reserve. We have filed a complaint to address this unknown suspension.”

Bailey was originally placed on injured reserve because of the back injury before the Patriots’ Week 11 game against the New York Jets. He returned to practice on December 21 and was set to play again, giving the Patriots a three-week window to either activate him or he would be out for the remainder of the season.

Though the three weeks weren’t up, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Bailey’s activation time was up before he was placed on the suspension list Friday.

Bailey wasn’t the only player the Patriots put on the suspension list Friday. Rookie cornerback Jack Jones was also placed on the suspension list, both with retroactive effect as of December 31. Jones suffered a knee injury during the Patriots’ Week 14 win over the Cardinals and has not played since and was placed on injured reserve prior to their win over the Dolphins last week.

Jones’ agent suggested the suspension may be related to his client’s appeal to rehab for the injury.

“I am aware of the situation my client Jack Jones is involved in,” agent Jamal Tooson said in a statement to NFL Network. “Jack is focused on helping the Patriots as soon as possible. Regarding the suspension, it appears to be a communication error regarding Jack’s rehab process. I am confident that we will find an amicable solution for Jack and the Patriots.”

ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported that Bailey’s suspension was due to differing views on Bailey’s return to the game, while Jones’ suspension is related to a team fine for missing rehab dates.

The Patriots signed Bailey on a four-year, $13.5 million extension in August, making him one of the highest-paid players in the league. The suspension could void guaranteed money on Bailey’s contract as he capped at $3.415 million for the 2023 season.

In terms of performance, Bailey and Jones have been on opposite ends of the spectrum this season. Bailey had the worst season of his career prior to his IR placement, averaging 42.1 yards per punt, which was the lowest in the league at the start of Week 11. Jones, meanwhile, has had a solid rookie campaign, recording two interceptions and being one of Football Focus’s top-rated cornerbacks in the first half of the season.

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