Patriots rookie Marcus Jones, who led the league with 362 punt return yards, was named to the AP All-Pro team on Friday. Steve Senne/Associated Press

Patriots rookie Marcus Jones was named to The Associated Press 2022 NFL All-Pro Team as a punt returner on Friday, the only New England player named to the team this season.

Despite not opening the season fielding punts, Jones led the league with 362 punt return yards and was second with a 12.5-yard average. His 84-yard touchdown against the Jets was the longest in the NFL this season.

Still, when asked how he’d reflect upon his rookie season, Jones wasn’t taking any victory laps.

“I’m always hard on myself,” Jones said after New England lost to Buffalo in Week 18 to miss the playoffs. “I didn’t want the season to end this way. It’s one of those situations where whenever the offseason (program starts), come back in, just work hard and try to progress from there.”

So what will Jones be looking to improve as he heads into 2023?

“Just my game in general,” Jones said. “Making sure my eyes are in the right spots. Technique things and fundamentals.”


• Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce and Minnesota receiver Justin Jefferson are unanimous choices for the All-Pro team, and Sauce Gardner of the Jets is the first rookie cornerback selected in 41 years.

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa and Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones each got 49 of 50 first-team votes. The Chiefs and Niners led the way with four players each on the first team. Gardner, the fourth overall pick by the New York Jets, was named on all 50 ballots, receiving 43 first-place votes. Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott was the last rookie cornerback chosen for the first team in 1981.

JEROD MAYO, the Patriots linebackers coach, has turned down the Browns’ request to interview him for their defensive coordinator job, a source confirmed to the Boston Herald.

Mayo, 36, is “working through some details” in his contract negotiations to return to the Patriots staff, according to a source. He had been preparing to explore outside opportunities to become a head coach or defensive coordinator and may still do so. The Panthers filed a request Thursday to interview him for their head-coaching vacancy, and according to Sports Illustrated, there is mutual interest in scheduling an interview next week.

On Thursday night, the Patriots released an unprecedented statement announcing the team and Coach Bill Belichick are in contract discussions with Mayo and will soon open a coaching search for their next offensive coordinator.

CHARGERS: Mike Williams will miss Saturday’s AFC wild-card round game against Jacksonville due to a lower back fracture.


The sixth-year wide receiver was downgraded to out on Friday after further rests. The Chargers said the X-ray on Sunday and an MRI on Monday both were negative but a rescan Friday morning showed a small transverse process fracture.

RAMS: Coach Sean McVay has decided to return for a seventh season with Los Angeles after taking a break to contemplate his future following the first losing season of his career.

The youngest head coach in NFL history to win the Super Bowl has decided not to take a break from coaching after his Rams finished 5-12 in the worst season ever by a defending champion. The Rams confirmed his decision with a tweet Friday.

McVay, who turns 37 later this month, became the youngest head coach in modern NFL history six years ago Thursday. Everything about McVay’s coaching career has been precocious, but he decided not to get an early start on retirement as well.

McVay is sticking with the Rams at their lowest point in his tenure after a year of what he described as heavy mental fatigue and stress. The Rams’ innovative offensive mind has also spoken frequently about his desire to start a broadcasting career, although this break didn’t appear to be about weighing a move to the booth.

VIKINGS: Minnesota center Garrett Bradbury has been cleared to return to the starting lineup after missing the last five games of the regular season with a back injury.


Coach Kevin O’Connell announced that Bradbury would start against the New York Giants in the wild card round playoff game Sunday. He fully participated in practices Thursday and Friday.

Austin Schlottman started the first four games in Bradbury’s absence until breaking his lower leg, when backup guard Chris Reed took over at center.

The Vikings listed three players as questionable for the Giants game: cornerback Cam Dantzler (ankle/personal matter), kickoff returner/running back Kene Nwangwu (illness) and safety Harrison Smith (knee). O’Connell said he expects Smith to play.

BROWNS: Jadeveon Clowney now says he’s sorry.

Clowney said he apologized to Browns star Myles Garrett more than a week after the defensive end criticized Cleveland, saying the organization favored his teammate and was more focused on getting him to the Hall of Fame than winning.

Clowney also claims his comments in an interview with were “completely misrepresented” and “taken out of context.”

The Browns disciplined Clowney for his statements, sending him home before practice a week ago and then leaving him home for the season finale at Pittsburgh. The Browns finished 7-10.

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