New England Patriots

  • Friday morning, Bill Belichick told reporters that starting quarterback Mac Jones is “a lot closer than he was last Friday,” to returning from a high ankle sprain he suffered two weeks ago. That reality was reflected in the team’s final injury report of the week on Friday.

    This week, the Patriots are listing Jones as doubtful, after he was a limited participant on Friday. Jones was limited all week, with NFL Network’s Mike Giardi reporting that Jones “didn’t stay out [on the field] for the entirety of any practice this week, instead receiving more treatment on that unstable ankle.” As such, it still seems unlikely Jones would play on Sunday. If he can’t go, rookie Bailey Zappe projects to get the start.

    Jones isn’t the only player the Patriots used the ‘doubtful’ tag for this week. Tight end Jonnu Smith is listed alongside Jones. Like Jones, Smith was limited on Friday. Smith suffered a low ankle sprain in last week’s game, and his status was reported earlier this week as ‘week-to-week.’

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  • The Patriots did rule two players out for Sunday’s game. Defensive linemen Lawrence Guy (shoulder) and DaMarcus Mitchell (concussion) both won’t play after not participating in practice this week.

    Six players are questionable for the game, including cornerback Jalen Mills (hamstring). Mills – who didn’t play last week in Green Bay – wasn’t spotted at Friday’s practice after being limited on Wednesday and Thursday. The other questionable players are wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (knee), offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn (hip), linebacker Raekwon McMillan (thumb), and safeties Adrian Phillips (ribs) and Kyle Dugger (knee).

  • The Lions have already ruled six players out for the game, including starting running back D’Andre Swift (shoulder/ankle). It was previously reported Swift – Detroit’s starting running back – would not play in the game.

    There are also six players listed as questionable for the Lions. Among that group is the team’s leading receiver, Amon-Ra St. Brown (ankle). Brown didn’t play last week and missed the first two days of practice this week but was limited on Friday, and projects to be a game-time decision. Starting left guard Jonah Jackson (finger) is also questionable.

    Three players were also removed from the Lions’ injury report. Starting tight end T.J. Hockenson (hip), left tackle Taylor Decker (knee), and center Frank Ragnow (foot) all look like they’ll be good to go after missing practice on Wednesday.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at