Steelers Star RB Praises Mac Jones’ Toughness Before Week 2 Matchup

'I know that he's a competitor'

by

September 14

There was some speculation if Patriots quarterback Mac Jones would be ready to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers after suffering a back injury in New England’s season-opening loss.

But well before the Patriots’ injury report was revealed Wednesday and Jones said he would be playing in the game, Steelers running back Najee Harris was convinced the second-quarter signal caller would suit up for the Week 2 matchup.

“I’ll be surprised if he’s not playing this game, cause I just know him,” Harris told reporters, per ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. “I know that he’s a competitor.”

Jones and Harris spent four years together at Alabama, culminating in the two helping the Crimson Tide secure the national championship in 2021 before they both put their sights on the NFL.

Harris is dealing with his own injury as he exited early from Pittsburgh’s hard-fought overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals and didn’t return. Harris was listed as a limited participant in practice Wednesday due to a foot injury. Like Jones, Harris fully intends on playing Sunday.

Harris won’t be the only ex-Alabama teammate Jones will face when the Patriots visit the Steelers. Minkah Fitzpatrick and Jones overlapped at Alabama for just one season, but the standout cornerback left quite the impression on the quarterback.

“Minkah, he was like the epitome of just a great football player and person,” Jones told reporters, as seen in a video on Patriots.com. “I looked up to him a lot at Alabama, and he was a great team captain and leader on our team. Obviously, he’s done great things with the Steelers. You just got to know where he’s at. He’s a great player. He makes really good plays. And obviously, off the field, he’s an even better person. That was something that I learned from him, just super easygoing, easy to talk to, friendly with everybody. So, I have a lot of respect for him.”

Fitzpatrick and the rest of the stout Steelers defense will certainly present a massive challenge to Jones and the Patriots offense, which struggled right out of the gate. Pittsburgh forced five total turnovers, including picking off Joe Burrow four times with Fitzpatrick recording one of them and returning it for a touchdown.

It’s the first matchup between the two teams since 2019 with Sunday’s contest kicking off at 1 p.m. ET from Acrisure Stadium.

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