When news first broke that Mac Jones suffered a “severe” high ankle sprain last Sunday, many speculated the New England Patriots quarterback could undergo a procedure known as “tightrope surgery.”
Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts both got the surgery while at Alabama — while Jones was on the roster — and both returned in a relatively short period of time. Jones actually was quoted in a Sports Illustrated article as saying it was “insane” how quickly Tagovailoa and Hurts returned after undergoing the procedure.
But why? If the surgery could accelerate Jones’ return, why wouldn’t he get it?
Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated offered some potential insight Thursday during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak & Bertrand” show.
“I think Mac’s background at Alabama is really important here, and, what that tightrope surgery is, is really important here,” Breer said. “Players don’t want to get that surgery. It’s an archaic surgery, it’s an aggressive surgery. Like, my experience is that players do not want to get that surgery. So, you’ll only get that surgery if your timeline is way over four weeks. Because that surgery can get you back typically within about a month. …
“If your ballpark (is) within a month, you don’t get the surgery. Because, if the team’s pushing you to get the surgery, that means they think that there’s a gap there, like, ‘This is a six- or eight-week surgery, so we want to get you back faster.’ So, that’s why you’re hearing that the player wouldn’t want to get the surgery, because he thinks, ballpark, he can get back in the same timeframe.”
Breer then added: “It’s a tough surgery. Like, it is a tough surgery. … the methodology of it is archaic. ‘Scary’ is the right word.”
It also is worth pointing out that Jones might not miss any time at all.
Although multiple reports point toward the Patriots signal-caller missing multiple games, NFL Media’s Mike Giardi on Thursday reported Jones isn’t ruling himself out for this Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers. Dan Graziano of ESPN reported something similar Wednesday morning.
So, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.