New England Patriots rule out QB Mac Jones; Brian Hoyer gets start vs. Green Bay Packers

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Despite a surprise appearance early in practice on Friday, New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones will not play in Sunday’s road game against the Green Bay Packers, the team announced.

Jones has a doctor-diagnosed serious high ankle sprain that would require surgery for many and is likely to miss several games, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Jones suffered the injury in Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens when 6-foot-8, 307-pound defenseman Calais Campbell landed on him.

Veteran Brian Hoyer, now in his 14th NFL season, will start in Jones’ place.

Coach Bill Belichick reiterated several times earlier this week that the Patriots would take it “day by day” with Jones. When asked on Friday what he would need to see from Jones in order for him to play, Belichick added, “That will be a decision that will be made by the medics, in consultation with Mac of course.”

Belichick said there are situations where a player might be less than 100 per cent but can still play and it’s a coach’s decision. But that didn’t seem to be the case for Jones, who barely moved or stepped into any throws in the limited time he was on the practice field on Friday.

Hoyer, 36, has lost his last 11 starts from the 2016 season but Belichick expressed his confidence in him.

“He knows [the offense] better than anyone. He’s gained a lot of experience, been in a lot of different systems, watched a lot of football and taken a lot of snaps for us in different capacities,” said Belichick. “I thought he played well last season.”

Hoyer was 13 of 18 for 136 yards with a touchdown and zero interceptions preseason.

“You never want to see anyone get hurt. And we all know Mac’s hunger to compete to be out there,” Hoyer said. “For me, you support him, but you are also ready to play in the same sense. That’s just the nature of the job.”

Rookie Bailey Zappe, a fourth-round draft pick from Western Kentucky, will rise to the No. 2 pick behind Hoyer.

The Patriots also ruled out defensive tackle Lawrence Guy (shoulder) and assisting offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste (thumb ) to start. New England Patriots rule out QB Mac Jones; Brian Hoyer gets start vs. Green Bay Packers

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