FOXBORO — The New England Patriots are likely to be without their starting quarterback for the foreseeable future, possibly even the entire month of October.
As reported through NFL Media, Pats quarterback Mac Jones suffered a ‘pretty severe’ high ankle sprain during Sunday’s 37-26 Week 3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium.
Though a timetable for Jones’ 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.
Should the Patriots proceed with an IR designation, Jones 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.
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. In January of 2019, Sports Illustrated chronicled the treatment meansure’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.
At present, Jones is tentatively expected to meet with members of the New England media via video conference on Monday afternoon. Though the team has yet to make any comment on Jones’ status, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick offered the following terse response when asked about his quarterback’s injury on Monday morning.
“No update on him,” Belichick said. “We’ll go through the process and see where things are this morning. Nothing definitive at this point … Until we get more information, I’m not going to speculate wildly on what it would or wouldn’t be.”
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.
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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