FOXBOROUGH, Mass — Cornerback/returner Marcus Jones earned the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile player as a redshirt senior at the University of Houston, and the New England Patriots tapped that versatility in the first quarter Thursday night against the Buffalo Bills.
Playing on offense for the first time in his rookie season, Jones delivered a catch-and-run 48-yard touchdown.
Per NFL Next Gen Stats, Jones reached a speed of 20.88 mph on the play, the fastest for a Patriots ball carrier this season.
It was the longest offensive touchdown and third-longest offensive play for the Patriots this season.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 2, 2022
According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the last NFL defensive back with a receiving touchdown was Titans safety Dane Cruikshank — on a fake punt in 2018.
The last defensive back to catch a touchdown on an offensive play from scrimmage was the Jets’ Marcus Coleman in 2000 against the Bills on a Hail Mary from Vinny Testaverde at the end of a half.
Jones is the third defensive player to score an offensive touchdown for the Patriots under coach Bill Belichick. Mike Vrabel had 10 offensive touchdowns (including playoffs) and linebacker Elandon Roberts had one in 2019.