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Patriots QB Mac Jones Speaks On Injury; Timetable?

The Pats starting quarterback left the field in substantial pain after his final pass attempt in the fourth-quarter of New England’s 37-26 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

FOXBORO — As New England Patriots fans collectively held their breath, starting quarterback Mac Jones met with the media on Monday afternoon.

Less than 24 hours after suffering what has been reported as a ‘pretty severe’ high ankle sprain during Sunday’s 37-26 Week 3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium, Jones spoke with reporters via video conference.

“I’m just kinda taking it day-to-day and making sure everything’s good,” Jones said, seemingly in good spirits.

Though a timetable for his recovery has yet to be determined, a typical convalescence period can run from 4-8 weeks. Should that frame hold true, the Patriots may have no choice but to place their starting quarterback on injured reserve.

While Jones offered little in terms of elaboration on his condition throughout the video conference, the Alabama product did reiterate that he would be taking a ‘day-by-day’ approach to his health.

“Like I said, just taking it day-by-day,” Jones said. “I’ll see how I feel and do my treatment and just kinda go through that like I always do. Just focus on today and then when tomorrow comes focus on tomorrow.”

According to Monday’s transaction wire, Jones has yet to be placed on injured reserve. Should the Patriots proceed with an IR designation, he would be forced to miss at least the next four games on their schedule:

at Green Bay, Sun. Oct. 2

vs. Detroit, Sun. Oct. 9

at Cleveland, Sun. Oct. 16

vs. Chicago, Mon. Oct. 24

Jones would not be eligible to return until Oct. 30, a road matchup in the Meadowlands against the New York Jets. However, the fear surrounding Jones’ diagnosis is that his sprain includes a tear in a ligament. According to injury specialist Will Carroll, the full definition of a sprain is a tearing or stretching of the fibers that make up a ligament. Anything from rolling one’s ankle to rupturing an ACL likely involves some level of sprain. The degree to which it will limit the injured party’s recovery will depend on the level of the sprain’s severity.

As such, the 24-year-old will likely require surgery to repair the damage. In fact, surgery of this type may even boost the effectiveness of his recovery. Carroll recently indicated that the respective cases of current Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts [Jones’ former Alabama teammates] may provide some light at the end of the tunnel.

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Having suffered high-ankle sprains within six months of each other in 2018, the pair of Alabama quarterbacks were treated by the university’s doctors with a process called ‘tightrope.’ The tightrope is a relatively new innovation in the treatment of high ankle sprains, in which ligaments and tissues around the leg bones, the tibia and fibula, are loosened and become unstable. 

The tightrope fixation offers an alternative to the traditional methods of treatment by having surgeons slip a high-strength suture through small holes in the bone, fasten it with small metal buttons and then tighten it as you would a zip tie.

In January of 2019, Sports Illustrated chronicled the treatment measure’s impressive recovery time, and what it may mean for the future of such injuries.

In fact, ‘tightrope’ has already caught the eye of medical experts in the New England area.

When asked about whether he has spoken with his former teammates regarding the treatment procedure, Jones replied:

“I think everyone’s different. Like I said, I’m just going to take it day-to-day and kinda get my treatment and see how I feel. Everyone’s different so I can’t speak for other people.”

Though the team has yet to make any comment on Jones’ status, the Pats quarterback did provide a moment of levity in an otherwise tense day for the region.

“If you have any more of those type (injury) questions, talk to Coach Belichick. I think he likes to answer those questions,” Jones said with a smile.

Obtaining further information from the Pats head coach may prove to be a difficult task. When meeting with reporters via video conference on Monday morning, Belichick offered a terse response when asked about Jones’ injury.

In any case, the prospect of Jones suiting up for New England’s Week 4 matchup with the Green Bay Packers seems remote, at best. As such, veteran backup Brian Hoyer now seems primed to temporarily take the reins as the Pats starter, with rookie Bailey Zappe expected to temporarily handle back-up duties.

While more information is expected in the coming days, the Patriots will begin preparations for their Week 4 showdown with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m ET from Lambeau Field.

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