For only the second time since suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 3, and the first in almost four weeks, New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones spoke to the media about his injury.
“I think it feels pretty good,” Jones said in the locker room on Friday. “Just trying to work through all the stuff, being able to play in a NFL football game. Want to be able to go out there and help the team and once I’m there, I’m there. So, I’m definitely making progress and we’ve done good job with the treatment”
While Jones is reportedly expected to return Monday night against the Chicago Bears, he still has not been cleared by the team’s medical staff. As Jones hinted at himself, the last hurdle may be proving he can protect himself inside and outside the pocket in live action.
Given an initial 4-to-6 week recovery window, Monday night’s game would mark four weeks and one day since the injury occurred. Jones has remained a limited participant in practice this week, but seemingly has been moving better than weeks past.
“I think I’m doing well. Just trying to get better and get my treatment. Day by day,” Jones said with a laugh. “Do my best to put the hours in to get ready and definitely moving better. So, feel pretty good.”
Despite Jones missing the past three games, he has remained active within the building during the week while also traveling to Cleveland last Sunday.
“It’s been good, you get to watch and learn as much as you can and try to get healthy,” he said. “I’ve done a good job trying to help the team as best I can in film, and during the game to watch it was really good. Obviously I want to be out there to help the team win and that's what I’m gonna do.”
With Jones out, the Patriots have turned to rookie Bailey Zappe under center. Zappe has impressed as a starter recording two straight wins, and the rookie has praised Jones several times for his help throughout the process.
“I’ve been in these types of situations before — whether that's in college or not — if you're in, you're in and you want to have everyone helping you,” Jones said. “[Zappe’s] done a good job of stepping up, being a young guy. I’ve always had really good mentors, so that's my plan.”
The Patriots will welcome the Bears to town Monday night, where all eyes will be on New England’s quarterback situation.