How Mac Jones Is Impressing Patriots Teammates In Injury Rehab

'Mac is a dog, man'


October 20

FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots have seen a motivated Mac Jones as the quarterback works his way back from his high ankle sprain.

Multiple Patriots teammates lauded Jones’ competitiveness Thursday ahead of the QB’s likely return to the starting lineup.

“It’s always good to have the guys back,” wide receiver Jakobi Meyers said. “Mac is a dog, man. He’s an ultimate competitor. So just having him out there, the fighting spirit, it comes back very well. Just guys who want to go out there and win. The more guys you’ve got like that on the team, the better it is for you.”

Running back Rhamondre Stevenson shared a similar assessment.

“He’s a competitor before anything, I believe,” Stevenson said. “When he was able to get back on the field, he’s a warrior, so I think he’s ready for it.”

ESPN’s Mike Reiss on Thursday reported Jones, who’s missed the last three games, “expects to be available” when the Patriots host the Chicago Bears this week on “Monday Night Football.” A subsequent report from The Athletic’s Jeff Howe indicated Jones will retake the starting job from impressive rookie Bailey Zappe as soon as he is healthy. Combined, those reports suggest he’ll most likely return to action — and start — against Chicago.

Jones’ activity in Thursday’s practice offered more evidence to support that notion. During the brief period that was open to reporters, Jones could be seen leading the offensive line in an early sled drill, which typically is the job of the starting QB.

The Patriots won both of Zappe’s starts and got solid, responsible play from the fourth-round draft pick, but talk of a legitimate quarterback competition has been downplayed this week.

“Just to have every player on the team healthy is a huge boost for us,” Stevenson said. “So whenever we get (Jones) back, it’s going to be huge.”

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