The uncertainty surrounding Patriots quarterback Mac Jones's status ahead of Sunday's road tilt against the Green Bay Packers has ended.
Despite making progress throughout the week, the Patriots ruled Jones (ankle) out for Sunday's game in Green Bay on Friday. He will not play.
New England also ruled out defensive tackle Lawrence Guy (shoulder), swing tackle Yodny Cajuste (thumb) and listed seven other players as questionable: WR Jakobi Meyers (knee), S Kyle Dugger (knee), DL Davon Godchaux (back), CB Jalen Mills (hamstring), S Adrian Phillips (ribs), LB Raekwon McMillan (thumb), and S Joshuah Bledsoe (groin).
During the short media portion of Friday's practice, Jones was in attendance, primarily throwing from a stationary position. But the Pats QB did not participate in the practice session, according to the team.
In his Friday morning press conference, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick continued to stress that the team is taking a "day-by-day" approach to the starting quarterback's injury.
"I don't know. He doesn't know. The doctors don't know. Take it as it comes and see what happens," Belichick told reporters. "Ultimately, that will be a decision made by the medical people, in consultation with Mac [Jones], of course. Like we do with any player. He's no different than any other player. I mean, he is, but I'm just saying the process is the same."
Earlier this week, Belichick confirmed that veteran backup Brian Hoyer would start for the Patriots if Jones could not play. As we outlined in our game preview, the Pats should lean on running back duo Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. The tandem and the Pats offensive line have produced the top-ranked rush DVOA offense in the NFL through three games. It's a tall task to go into Lambeau Field and beat reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers with a backup quarterback, but the Patriots rushing attack gives them hope.
Besides playing without Jones, the Patriots will have to slow down Green Bay's seventh-ranked rushing attack in DVOA without veteran run-stopper Lawrence Guy.
Based on how the team has defended outside zone schemes in the past, using a more aggressive gap-shooting strategy to prevent the longer play designs from developing might be the approach. If that's the case, Deatrich Wise and Christian Barmore as penetrating defensive ends on either side of nose tackle Davon Godchaux could be the answer, or Godchaux could move outside while Carl Davis lines up over the center to set a stouter edge.
Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (knee) and safety Kyle Dugger (knee) are also questionable after missing the Ravens game. Meyers indicated that he's progressing in the right direction and hopes to play, while Dugger was also limited throughout the week after sitting out all three sessions leading up to last week's loss.
Although the Patriots could be without their starting quarterback, Hoyer should have a full complement of weapons around him this week.
The Patriots will travel to Green Bay on Saturday ahead of Sunday afternoon's matchup with the Packers at 4:25 pm ET.