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    Tuesday, November 29, 2022

    Patriots' Mac Jones tight-lipped on status after leg injury

    Baltimore’s Calais Campbell, right, hits Patriots quarterback Mac Jones during Sunday’s game in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

    Foxborough, Mass. — Everything about the New England Patriots' season was brought to a pause the moment Mac Jones had his left leg crushed under the weight of Baltimore's Calais Campbell on Sunday.

    It caused the quarterback to hop off the field, grimacing in pain.

    For the second straight week, Jones spent Monday trying to assure everyone that he would be OK — even though he wasn't willing to shed much light on his playing status going forward.

    "I'm just kind of taking it day to day, making sure everything is good," Jones said. "Honestly, any injury questions are Coach Belichick's thing. So, I'm not here to answer them. ... It's just kind of a day-to-day thing and trying to get better."

    A back injury sent Jones to the X-ray room immediately following New England's win over Pittsburgh last week, though he didn't wind up missing any practice time for that issue. This latest injury to his left leg and ankle at a glance seems more likely to put the second-year quarterback's streak of not missing an NFL start in jeopardy.

    While there have been reports Jones sustained a high ankle sprain and may be seeking a second opinion, he declined to address their authenticity following further testing Monday.

    "Just trying to take it day by day, make sure I get my health back," he said. "That's just getting my treatment and going through the process of what I can do to be better."

    If he must miss any playing time, an offense that turned the ball over four times in Sunday's loss to the Ravens could turn to backup Brian Hoyer, who hasn't won an NFL start since 2016.

    Hoyer's most recent start came in Week 4 of the 2020 season. He stepped in that week for Cam Newton, who sat out the Patriots' 25-10 loss at Kansas City with COVID-19.

    Rookie Bailey Zappe is the third quarterback on New England's roster. He was a healthy scratch each of the first three weeks.

    Hoyer has made starts for seven NFL teams during his 14-year career, but has lost his past 11 and amassed a record of just 16-23. The 2020 loss to Kansas City was his lone start with the Patriots. He was benched during the game in favor of Jarrett Stidham.

    In addition to Jones, defensive end Lawrence Guy suffered a shoulder injury in the third quarter. Guy has been durable during his Patriots tenure, missing only two games over the past five seasons. But one of the games he did sit out was for a shoulder issue late during the 2020 season.

    All eyes will be on Jones' progress as the Patriots begin preparations for Sunday's visit to Green Bay, looking to avoid their second straight 1-3 start.

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