Patriots Rumors: Yet Another Concerning Mac Jones Injury Update

Jones reportedly has a 'severe' high ankle sprain


September 26

At this point, Patriots fans probably should expect to see Brian Hoyer under center this Sunday.

An MRI conducted Monday reportedly confirmed that Mac Jones suffered a “pretty severe” high ankle sprain in New England’s Week 3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The Patriots still haven’t offered an official update on their quarterback, who is weighing whether to get surgery. Either way, a stint on injured reserve seems likely for Jones.

And then there’s this report from NFL Media’s Mike Giardi:

“That means a significant tear, which was the fear,” Giardi tweeted Monday afternoon. “Team source, just now, said he’d be surprised if Jones avoids surgery, (especially) knowing it could speed up healing. We’ll see how team and player decide to play this.”

Giardi also quoted the source as saying, “Mac will do what it takes to get back, we know that.”

So, what about Jones possibly preferring surgery?

Well, sports medicine doctor Jessica Flynn, a frequent Boston Sports Journal contributor, made an interesting point in reacting to Giardi’s tweet. She referenced a 2019 Sports Illustrated story, which included this potentially pertinent information:

The tightrope is a relatively new innovation in the treatment of high ankle sprains, in which ligaments and tissues around the leg bones, the tibia and fibula, are loosened and become unstable. The tightrope offers an alternative to the traditional methods of treatment: rest and rehabilitation or the insertion of screws into the tibia and fibula, bonding them like one would a pair of two-by-fours with a nail. In tightrope fixation, surgeons slip a high-strength suture through small holes in the bone, fasten it with small metal buttons and then tighten it as you would a zip tie. The procedure takes about 25 minutes.

Once something of a secret weapon for Alabama, tightrope surgeries have been brought into the spotlight by the circumstances of the Crimson Tide’s 2018 season. Starting quarterback Tagovailoa and backup quarterback Jalen Hurts each suffered a high ankle sprain about six weeks apart. Within four weeks, they both returned from an injury that would normally sideline an athlete six to eight weeks, if not much longer. Hurts led a game-winning drive for the SEC championship against Georgia after Tagovailoa suffered his sprain on Dec. 1, and then Tagovailoa returned less than a month later to lead the Tide to a win over Oklahoma in the CFP semifinal on Dec. 29.

Obviously, we don’t yet know how similar Jones’ injury is to the ones that Hurts and Tagovailoa suffered. The situations might not be perfectly analogous.

Still, if Jones indeed opts for the “tightrope surgery,” it’s within the realm of possibility that he returns after a four-game absence, which would be mandated by an IR stint anyway. The Patriots’ next four opponents are the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears.

This Sunday’s contest at Lambeau Field is scheduled to start at 4:25 p.m. ET.

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