FOXBORO — Yet another layer of speculation has been added to the situation surrounding the New England Patriots quarterback position.
Per a Friday morning report from the Boston Herald, Patriots starting quarterback Mac Jones could be a game-time decision Sunday, as his high ankle sprain continues to respond strongly to treatment.
In addition, the report indicates that Jones will undergo further treatment on Friday, when the team is scheduled to hold its final practice before traveling to Green Bay for their Week 4 matchup with the Packers at Lambeau Field.
Jones suffered the injury on the final offensive play of New England’s 37-26 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. An initial MRI was taken on Monday, which reportedly indicated that he had indeed suffered a severe high ankle sprain. Since that time, several outlets, including Patriots Country, have reported that Jones was exploring all available treatment options, including seeking a second opinion before determining whether to undergo surgery.
Friday’s additional wrinkle in New England’s signs-calling saga comes on the heels of an NFL Network report that Jones was, indeed, attempting to get back on the field as soon as this Sunday. Jones was apparently at the Patriots facility on Thursday, participating in game planning. The Alabama product has told multiple teammates to” not count him out” of this weekend's game.
Though Jones was a non-participant at Patriots practice both on Wednesday and Thursday, he was present for the media portion of Friday’s practice. Despite being spotted partaking only in some stationary throwing, his presence on the field was certainly enough to capture the attention of the media contingent present in Foxboro.
As such, his game day availability will continue to be the subject of speculation. However, at least one of Jones’ teammates is cognizant of the amount of pain he is currently feeling.
When asked about the latest reports surrounding the health of the Pats starting quarterback, coach Bill Belichick once again advised that Jones’ potential game day status remains a fluid situation.
"I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I’ve got a magic wand and crystal ball and know exactly what’s going to happen,'' Belichick told reporters prior to Friday’s practice. “Nobody knows. I don’t know. He doesn’t know. The doctors don’t know. Take it as it comes and see what happens."
If Jones is unable to play against Green Bay, veteran Brian Hoyer would start Sunday, as Belichick confirmed Wednesday. Rookie Bailey Zappe would serve as his backup. Hoyer is still expected to start against the Packers after taking all the first-team reps in practice Wednesday and Thursday, but the Patriots have not made a determination yet.
Kickoff between the Patriots and Packers is set for Sunday at 4:25 p.m. from Lambeau Field.
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