The Patriots simply refuse to rule Mac Jones out for Sunday in Green Bay
September 30th, 2022
(UPDATE: After all this, Mac Jones has been ruled out for Sunday’s Patriots game against the Packers. Not a surprising development.)
It’s the storyline that just will not go away: could Mac Jonesactually play on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers?
The Patriots’ second-year starting quarterback is apparently doing all he can to not just avoid surgery for a reported high-ankle sprain, but avoid even missing a game. Despite being absent from practice on Wednesday and Thursday and widely reported to have to sit out multiple games, Jones “could be a game-time decision” for Sunday at Lambeau Field, according to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald.
Jones was present at Patriots practice during media availability on Friday in Foxboro, after being absent on Wednesday and Thursday. He could still be listed as “Did Not Participate,” despite his presence on the field. Safety Kyle Dugger was recently spotted during early portions of practice before being listed as a non-participant. Jones’ level of participation will likely be unclear until the Patriots release their official injury report and game statuses on Friday afternoon.
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Mike Giardi of the NFL Network joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand on Thursday to discuss his own reporting on the Mac Jones front. He said Jones has told multiple Patriots teammates not to count him out for Sunday against the Packers, and that he’s continuing to take part in game-planning. Bill Belichick clearly refuses to rule Jones out.
Guregian also reported that Jones’ high-ankle sprain “continues to respond strongly to treatment.” So, even if it turns out that Jones can’t quite make it back on the game field just one week after suffering the injury, it’s a good sign that he should return sooner than the typical range of 4-8 weeks.
You can see in this footage from NBC Sports Boston at Friday’s practice that Jones was making throws during media availability. But he still appears to be moving very carefully with his legs and feet, rather than doing a normal drop-back.
Not a lot of moving around, but Mac Jones was at the media portion of practice today, keeping alive the possibility he could play against the #Packers on Sunday 👀 pic.twitter.com/3YEUwixzCn
Despite all that, Guregian added that Brian Hoyer “is still expected to start” against Green Bay on Sunday. So it’s likely that in the case of Mac Jones, we’ll be talking about just a valiant effort. But Guregian also said: “The reported severity of Jones’ high ankle sprain appears to have been overstated.” So we could also be looking at, eventually, a respectable quick return from what’s still a serious injury.
That return just won’t be this week, most likely. It would be a hell of a story. But expect to see Hoyer opposite Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau, and resume the “Mac Watch” in Week 5.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.