It's only been a couple of weeks since Cyrus Jones last donned a Patriots jersey. The third-year cornerback/return specialist may have had the best summer of his pro career, but was among the players New England released on Labor Day Weekend when 53-man rosters were initially formed.
But yesterday, the Baltimore native was welcomed back in Foxborough after being plucked off the Ravens practice squad, which he admitted was a bit surreal.
"Would you expect to be back here that quick?" he joked with reporters Thursday at Gillette Stadium. "I mean, no, I just took it in stride and was moving on with my future. But I understand the NFL is a business. You just have to be ready when your number's called – your phone number, your jersey number, whatever. That's part of the process.
"So, when [the Patriots] called and expressed interest for me to come back, I was all for it. Everybody was excited to see me, as I was excited to see them. It was great."
More than a year removed from a serious knee injury, Jones, the top pick of New England's 2016 draft class, says he's anxious to prove himself in his second stint with the Patriots, although he insists there's no sense of unfinished business.
"I'm just here to do a job, like everybody else. I look at it like that. I look at it as another opportunity, just like it was when I was in Baltimore. I'm just going to do what the coaches ask, study hard, try to go out there and perform at a high level on Sunday.
"It hurt not being able to go out there and compete on Sundays. I get the opportunity, being back here, so, I'm going to make the most of it."
Players like Jones who are signed off another team's practice squad are ensured of being on the active roster of their new team for at least three weeks. Jones could be here longer than that, as media reports indicate he inked a two-year deal with New England. Jones' brief departure from the Patriots could wind up being a blessing in disguise if he can perform the way he hopes.
"It happened, I dealt with it like a man and moved on," he added. "Fortunate enough for me, Coach [Bill Belichick] thought enough of me to bring me back to help this team win. That's what I'm going to focus on doing."