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Patriots 'Dr. Belichick': Mum on Mac; Reveals Potential Starting QB

The New England Patriots head coach offered some interesting commentary on Wednesday when asked about the injury status of starting quarterback Mac Jones.

FOXBORO — When it comes to the types of New England Patriots head coaching press conferences, there is ‘standard-Bill Belichick’ … and then there is ‘prime-Bill Belichick.’

Patriots media, along with much of the fan base, were treated to a version of the prime variety on Wednesday.

As Belichick took the podium for his weekly meeting with reporters to discuss the Pats’ upcoming opponent, the collective minds of those in the room, as well as the region, were still on the health of Patriots quarterback Mac Jones.

“Saw Mac a little while ago. Definitely getting better. Probably won’t practice today but he’s definitely made a lot of progress in the last 48 hours,” Belichick said. “We’ll take it day-by-day and see how it goes.”

Jones suffered what has been reported as a “severe high ankle sprain” during New England’s 37-26 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. His initial MRI revealed that he had indeed incurred a serious injury, which is likely to keep him out of action for multiple weeks.

However, Jones has yet to be formally placed on injured reserve. Amidst reports that he will consult with Dr. Martin O’Malley of New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery for a second opinion, the 24-year-old advised on Monday that he was taking things “day-by-day,” and that he was focusing on his treatment.

The nature of such treatment, as well as the methods to be used, are still known only to Jones (and, possibly the team) at this time.

When asked directly about Jones’ options for rehabilitation and recovery, Belichick reiterated his quarterback’s sentiments of taking it “day-by-day,” while adding a classic Belichickian twist.

“Day-by-day,” Belichick said. “What do I look like, a doctor? An orthopedic surgeon? Like, I don’t know. Talk to the medical experts … do you think I’m going to read the MRI? That’s not my job.”

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While Belichick remained understandably cryptic regarding the personal health choices of his starting quarterback, he was in a divulgatory mood when it came to revealing the identity of the Pats starter for Week 4, assuming Jones is unavailable.

Veteran backup Brian Hoyer now seems primed to temporarily take the reins as the Pats starter, as confirmed by Belichick. 

While the 36-year-old’s best days on the field may be behind him, he has enough knowledge and experience to effectively run the Patriots offense. Having served as Jones’ primary backup for the past two seasons, Hoyer is also well-versed in the Pats’ starting quarterback’s tendencies. Therefore, he would be the logical choice to continue New England’s offensive game plan in Jones’s absence.

As expected, Jones was not spotted for the media portion of Wednesday’s practice, leaving Hoyer and rookie Bailey Zappe as the only two quarterbacks on the field.

Earlier this week, Belichick remained terse when asked about the prospect of Hoyer getting the start in Week 4, knowing that a formal diagnosis on Jones was yet to force the issue.

“I think Brian’s got a lot of experience in the offense,” he said.

He will certainly need it as the Pats begin preparations for their Week 4 showdown with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m ET from Lambeau Field.

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