Mac Jones believes he avoided serious injury during the New England Patriots’ season-opening loss to the Miami Dolphins.
The second-year quarterback shared a positive update on the status of his injured back Monday afternoon, saying he hopes to be available for this Sunday’s Week 2 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I definitely feel better, and I want to be able to play against Pittsburgh,” Jones said in a video conference. “I feel good. (On Sunday) I was just talking to the trainers, trying to get back. I wasn’t feeling too hot after the game but definitely feel a lot better.”
Jones said he suffered the injury on a hit from Dolphins safety Jevon Holland early in the fourth quarter that drew a roughing-the-passer penalty. He also was knocked down by edge rusher Emmanuel Ogbah one play later but played the rest of the game, which Miami won 20-7 at Hard Rock Stadium.
“I just kept playing and tried to work through it,” Jones said. “It’s football; you’re going to get hit. I’ve been hit harder before, and I’ll probably get hit harder in the future. It’s part of the game, and it’s all good.”
The Patriots canceled Jones’ usual postgame news conference after the QB underwent X-rays on his back. NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reported those tests came back negative, which Jones confirmed.
“My back hurt, so we were just trying to figure out what the issue was,” Jones said. “They did all the tests and everything was fine, so that’s pretty much it.”
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport on Monday reported Jones’ injury was believed to be back spasms and that the 24-year-old has “a chance” to play Sunday in Pittsburgh. A report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter indicated the Patriots “will monitor and gauge how Jones is feeling this week” before making a decision on his Week 2 status.
Jones said he expects to practice Wednesday and go through his “normal routine” this week. Brian Hoyer likely would be the next QB up if Jones can’t go against the Steelers, with third-string rookie Bailey Zappe rounding out the depth chart.
“I think I’ll be fine,” Jones said. “Like I said, the trainers looked at it. I haven’t had any issues with it before and don’t expect any issues now, so everything’s good.”