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Report: Patriots CB Joejuan Williams Suffers Season-Ending Injury

The 24-year-old Vanderbilt product had his share of struggles during 2022 training camp.

FOXBORO — New England Patriots cornerback Joejuan Williams’ 2022 season has ended, before it truly had a chance to start.

According to a NFL Network report on Tuesday morning, the much-maligned Pats’ defensive back suffered a shoulder injury, which will prematurely end his season.

Williams apparently injured his shoulder during the Pats preseason opener versus the New York Giants. Throughout the game, he struggled in coverage, yielding a touchdown to Giants’ Richie James and later called for a facemask penalty.

He is expected to be moved to injured reserve ahead of the roster cutdown deadline on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

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The Patriots selected the Vanderbilt product in the second-round (45 overall) in the 2019 draft. Unfortunately, he has yet to make his mark in the team’s secondary. The Pats have used him sporadically during his three-year tenure, playing just 15, 18 and 35 percent of their defensive snaps, respectively. In 2021, Williams logged 26 total tackles [10 of which came against the run], five passes defensed and one quarterback hurry.

However, his most memorable moments of the season came while surrendering a 37-yard touchdown versus the Houston Texans in week 5, and allowing Buffalo Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen to go 4 for 5 for 72 yards and one touchdown against his coverage. Ultimately, he ended his 2021 season having given up 14 receptions on 23 targets for a combined 201 yards and two touchdowns.

Still, the 24-year-old possesses plenty of potential value due to his size and athleticism.

At 6-3, 212 pounds, Williams is most effective when used as a rotational perimeter and slot cornerback against taller pass catchers. He also comes with great risk. He has yet to emerge as a match with New England’s press coverage schemes. Despite being made a ‘healthy scratch’ following some dismal performances in 2021, Williams was projected to be the Pats most physical veteran option at the position.

The Patriots depth chart at cornerback consists of Jalen Mills, Terrance Mitchell, Jonathan Jones, Malcolm Butler, Shaun Wade, Myles Bryant, as well as rookies Marcus Jones, Jack Jones and Devin Hafford