Although it seems unlikely, the Patriots are still leaving open the possibility that the quarterback Mac Jones could play Sunday’s game against the Packers.
In his Friday press conference, head coach Bill Belichick didn’t repeat Wednesday’s “day by day” mantra. But he said “we’ll see” when asked if Jones would train, reiterating that Jones had to undergo a medical before he could play.
“He’s no different than any other player,” Belichick said. “I mean yes, but I’m just saying the process is the same. There is a medical examination, you talk to the player, and as a coach you, at any moment, receive the information that you receive and make a decision if there is any decision. If there is no decision to be made medically, then I’m not myself.
“But if you have to make a decision, the player is at X percent and he can do it, the player feels like he can do it. [and] he is ready to play, then I will make a decision: do I want this player to get X percent or someone else, let’s say 100 percent. But very often it doesn’t come to that. Sometimes it is. If so, then it becomes my decision after consulting the player and, as a rule, with his position as a staff coach.
Belichick said he also doesn’t know if Jones will delay the injury by a few weeks, in large part because it’s not a broken or fractured bone.
“I’m not going to sit here and pretend I have a magic wand or a crystal ball and I know exactly what’s going to happen,” Belichick said. “Nobody knows. I don’t know. He doesn’t know. The doctors don’t know. Take it as it is and see what happens.
“It’s hard to say until you actually go out and perform at a level comparable to what a professional footballer should be doing. … Bones are bones. But guys who work out, guys who are fit, healthy, come back faster than the rest of us, let’s just say.”
Apparently, the whole week the situation was unstable. Jones was initially reported to have suffered a “rather severe” ankle sprain that supposedly kept him out of the field for several weeks. But Jones reportedly told teammates that he could still play.
The Patriots are scheduled to practice at 12:15 pm ET. Jones hasn’t trained all week.
Brian Hoyer scheduled to start if Jones is unable to play on Sunday.