How Mac Jones Looked At Patriots’ First Practice Of Lions Week

Jones still moved with a noticeable limp


October 5

FOXBORO, Mass. — Mac Jones reportedly is “unlikely” to play Sunday against the Detroit Lions. But the Patriots quarterback was present at New England’s first Week 5 practice and appeared to up his participation level.

After attending last Friday’s practice but not participating, Jones was more active during the open media portion of Wednesday’s walkthrough, which was held inside the Field House outside Gillette Stadium.

Jones, who is recovering from a high ankle sprain, began practice by throwing with newly signed practice squad QB Garrett Gilbert. He then transitioned to a quick-passing drill overseen by position coach Joe Judge.

But though Jones upped his activity, his mobility remained visibly limited. He walked with a noticeable limp and had both ankles heavily taped.

Head coach Bill Belichick said before practice that Jones has “definitely made progress” in his injury rehab but wouldn’t say whether he hopes or expects the second-year pro to play this Sunday. Jones sat out last week’s overtime loss to the Green Bay Packers, and initial estimates suggested he would miss multiple weeks.

Veteran backup Brian Hoyer, who was knocked out of the Green Bay game with a concussion, did not practice Monday. If Jones and Hoyer are unavailable, fourth-round rookie Bailey Zappe would be in line to make his first NFL start Sunday against Detroit.

Zappe played the final three-plus quarters against the Packers and kept the Patriots competitive, completing 10 of 15 passes for 99 yards with one lost fumble.

The Patriots also added Gilbert to their practice squad this week for additional depth at the position. The 31-year-old journeyman spent most of last season New England’s P-squad, giving him familiarity with the organization and system.

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