Patriots Practice Notes: Jonnu Smith Returns Ahead Of Lions Game

Smith is recovering from an ankle injury

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October 6

FOXBORO, Mass. — Thursday’s New England Patriots practice offered encouraging news on the status of one injured player.

Tight end Jonnu Smith, who exited last week’s loss to the Green Bay Packers with an ankle injury, was present and participating during the brief period of practice that was open to the media.

It’s unclear, however, whether Smith will be healthy enough to play Sunday against the Detroit Lions, as NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport described his injury as a “week-to-week” low ankle sprain.

With Hunter Henry the only other tight end on the Patriots’ 53-man roster, New England might need to elevate Matt Sokol or Scotty Washington from its practice squad if Smith can’t go. Lil’Jordan Humphrey also has played a hybrid role as a receiver/tight end.

Backup quarterback Brian Hoyer remained sidelined for the second consecutive day. Defensive lineman DaMarcus Mitchell was present but not in uniform. Both are recovering from concussions.

Defensive tackle Lawrence Guy (shoulder) also was present. He attended Wednesday’s indoor walkthrough, as well, but was listed as a nonparticipant.

Starting quarterback Mac Jones practiced again Thursday, still moving with a visible limp as he recovers from a high ankle sprain. Rapoport reported Jones, who officially was listed as limited in Wednesday’s practice, “believes he can play” against Detroit. If he can’t, rookie Bailey Zappe likely would make his first NFL start this Sunday.

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