Patriots quarterback Mac Jones is believed to have sustained a serious ankle injury according to reports from NFL Network. Jones was hurt in the closing minutes of a 37-26 loss to the Ravens as he became entangled with defensive end Calais Campbell and quickly hopped off the field on one leg and was then escorted into the tunnel toward the locker room.
If MRIs on Monday confirm the prognosis Jones could be expected to miss next weekend's matchup with the Packers in Green Bay at a minimum. The Lions, at Browns and Bears will follow should Mac land on Injured Reserve rounding out his minimum four-game absence.
It would be a disappointing development in the young career of Mac if the injury does cost him valuable game experience. What makes it worse is that it came when the game was pretty much decided. Though the statline says zero touchdowns, three interceptions, Mac made some of the best throws of his career in this game.
Despite the loss, the offense continued to make strides. Yes, the mistakes overshadowed a lot of them and certainly took points off the board, but the signs of progress were there. They still put up 26 in a balanced day that featured a DeVante Parker coming out party.
Now, Mac's development would be put on pause as the team looks to lean on their defense, running game and backup quarterback.
13-year vet Brian Hoyer would be in line to take the reins but hasn't started a game since filling in for Cam Newton during a COVID-stricken affair in 2020. In that one, Hoyer's only start with New England in seven seasons, the offense moved the ball with 357 yards of offense, but killed themselves in the red zone with poor clock management and turnovers. That was the difference in a game where points were hard to come by until the Chiefs pulled away late.
The Patriots have kept Brian Hoyer around for three different stints over the last decade-plus for a reason. As a veteran who has played in offenses across the league, he's got some experience that should help him understand the current offense.
Though he attempted just 18 passes in preseason games this summer, Hoyer showed good zip and a solid understanding of what the new offensive coaching staff was trying to employ. He's also started a game at Lambeau Field before, going back to 2016 with the Bears, though the results weren't pretty in a 26-10 loss in which Hoyer went 4-of-11 for 49 yards.
Hoyer's experience as backup quarterback is all you can ask for, but he'll have to avoid mistakes like the ones that cost the Patriots on the scoreboard in Kansas City. Other upcoming matches will offer plenty of other challenges, but for now, with the prospect of being without their starting quarterback the Patriots are entrenched in "one week at a time."