Patriots’ Mac Jones remains tight-lipped about status after leg injury
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — All about the New England Patriots season was cut short when Mac Jones had his left leg crushed under the weight of Baltimore’s Calais Campbell on Sunday.
It sent the quarterback jumping off the field, wincing in pain.
For the second week in a row, Jones spent Monday trying to assure everyone that he would be fine – although he was unwilling to shed any light on his player status going forward.
« I’m just taking it day by day, making sure everything is okay, » Jones said. “Honestly, all the injury questions are Coach Belichick’s thing. So I’m not here to answer them. … It’s just sort of a day-to-day thing and trying to get better.
A back injury sent Jones to the X-ray room immediately after New England’s win over Pittsburgh last week, although he didn’t miss practice time for the issue. This latest left leg and ankle injury at a glance looks more likely to jeopardize the sophomore quarterback’s streak to not miss an NFL start.
Although there have been reports Jones has sprained his ankle and may seek a second opinion, he declined to comment on their authenticity after further tests on Monday.
« I’m just trying to take it day by day, make sure I get my health back, » he said. « It’s just getting my treatment and going through the process of what I can do to get better. »
If he should miss playing time, an offense that turned the ball over four times in Sunday’s loss to the Ravens could turn to backup Brian Hoyer, who hasn’t won an NFL start since 2016 .
Hoyer’s last start came in week four of the 2020 season. He came on that week for Cam Newton, who missed the Patriots’ 25-10 loss at Kansas City with COVID-19.
Rookie Bailey Zappe is the third quarterback for New England. He was a healthy scratch each of the first three weeks.
Hoyer made starts for seven NFL teams during his 14-year career, but lost his last 11 and amassed a record of just 16-23. The 2020 loss to Kansas City was his only start with the Patriots. He was benched during the game in favor of Jarrett Stidham.
With the exception of the last three practices of the game, which all ended in turnovers, the Patriots moved the ball the best they had all season on offense. Their 447 total yards marked a season high and they scored touchdowns on three of five chances in the red zone.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
That said, New England had four turnovers on Sunday, including three interceptions by Jones. That brought their total for the season to eight, which is the second most in the league behind only New Orleans’ nine.
It’s a troubling trend for an attack now looking at the prospect of having to adapt with its healing leader.
WR DeVante Parker. After being fairly quiet the first two games, Parker had a team-high five receptions for 156 yards. It was his 12th career 100-yard game. The 156 yards were second only to his 159-yard day against Philadelphia in 2019 while still with the Miami Dolphins.
« Nothing was different, » Parker said. “I felt good, as I always have. When they call my games, I just have to go out and make the games.
WR Nelson Agholor. With the Patriots leading 31-26, Jones connected with Agholor down the middle for a 30-yard gain before being stripped from behind. The ball was picked up by Baltimore along the sideline, setting up the Ravens’ final touchdown.
It was Agholor’s second lost fumble of the season. He also had one in the Patriots’ season-opening loss to Miami.
Still, he said his confidence was unshaken after Sunday’s turnaround.
« This guy came out of nowhere and made a great game, » Agholor said. « I hate to be on the other side of a game like this, but I have to give credit to a guy who can make a good game like this. »
In addition to Jones, defensive end Lawrence Guy suffered a shoulder injury in the third quarter. Guy has been durable during his tenure with the Patriots, missing just two games in the past five seasons. But one of the games he sat out was for a shoulder problem at the end of the 2020 season.
22.9 – New England’s percentage on third down against the Ravens.
All eyes will be on Jones’ progress as the Patriots begin preparations for Sunday’s visit to Green Bay, looking to avoid their second straight 1-3 start.