During a Monday afternoon Zoom call, Matthew Slater was asked about the possibility of the Patriots playing without Mac Jones this Sunday — Jones could undergo surgery for a “severe” high ankle sprain — and instead starting Brian Hoyer at quarterback.
“We have confidence in all the quarterbacks on our roster,” New England’s special teams captain said. “Obviously, Coach (Bill Belichick) has them on our roster for a reason. I’ve been with Axel for 14 years. I’ve known Axel for 14 years and been a teammate of his off and on over a period of time. Got a lot of confidence in him.”
Wait, what? “Axel” must be Slater’s nickname for Hoyer, right?
Well, kinda, but it turns out Hoyer’s real name actually is Axel Edward Brian Hoyer. Seriously, his first name is Axel.
This little-known fact was hiding in plain sight on Hoyer’s Pro-Football-Reference page, which probably doesn’t see many visitors.
Slater went on to say that he prefers using real first names. No word yet on whether the Patriots veteran refers to Jones as Michael McCorkle Jones — which is the sophomore QB’s real, full name.
Anyway, all of this stuff is secondary to Jones’ health and whether Hoyer indeed will start at quarterback in Sunday’s road game against the Green Bay Packers. Jones, who injured his ankle in the Patriots’ Week 3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, refused to offer a useful update on his condition Monday afternoon, repeatedly directing reporters to talk to Belichick and saying he’s taking his injury situation “day by day.”
New England and Green Bay will kick off this Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.