Tre' Jackson Injury: Updates on Patriots Guard's Knee and Return

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2016

Oct 29, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots guard Tre' Jackson (63) walks off the field after inuring his leg during the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots offensive guard Tre' Jackson has been battling a knee injury and was ruled out for the AFC Championship Game after missing last weekend's divisional playoff win over the Kansas City Chiefs, per the team's official Twitter account

Continue for updates. 

Patriots Can Survive Jackson's Absence

Friday, Jan. 22

The Patriots' Thursday and Friday injury reports listed Jackson as questionable after he was a limited participant for both sessions.  

The 2015 fourth-round pick appeared in 13 games and made nine starts during his first season out of Florida State. Jackson was fairly durable, but he suffered a knee injury in Week 8 against the Indianapolis Colts that forced him to miss Weeks 9-11. 

Working at right guard, Jackson impressed head coach Bill Belichick throughout the early stages of the season. In fact, Belichick went out of his way to praise the rookie's development in pass protection, according to the Boston Herald's Adam Kurkjian

Thanks to his timely evolution, Jackson played 54.2 percent of the Patriots' offensive snaps in a rotation with Josh Kline and fellow rookie Shaq Mason, per's Mike Reiss

Without Jackson available against the Chiefs, Kline lined up at left guard and Mason slotted in at right guard. And with that setup in place, the Patriots didn't allow quarterback Tom Brady to get sacked once. 

Replicating that feat against a Denver Broncos pass rush featuring Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware will be difficult, but the Patriots' youngsters have proved capable of turning heads in difficult matchups.