After suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 3, Mac Jones’ recovery window seemed to be kept quiet. But in reality, the quarterback was truly just “day-to-day,” something Bill Belichick and Jones himself echoed throughout the process.
“It was more just like a day-to-day thing. How do I feel on Monday. ‘OK let me do some more on Tuesday, more on Wednesday,’” Jones said Monday on WEEI’s Merloni, Fauria, and Mego. “I just started to build my confidence back up to be out there. The big thing for me was can I be healthy enough to help the team and play to a level where I can help the team. If not, I want to be out there but I’m going to be a good teammate no matter what.
“A lot of people gave me good advice on things they’ve seen in the past. Obviously the Patriots did a great job helping me recover and put me in a really good position.”
In all, Jones was sidelined for New England’s next three games before returning last Monday night against the Chicago Bears. During that time, the idea of surgery - which Jones saw first hand to several teammates at the University of Alabama - was reported as a possibility to expedite his recovery process. While reports at the time indicated the quarterback and the team were at odds over getting the surgery, Jones explained it was never discussed.
“Not really. I think we all handled that — between the Patriots and people I surround myself with — and we were all on the same page,” he said on WEEI. “Obviously injuries are injuries and you want to have the best plan. We felt like this was a good plan. Obviously I’m still making progress here. Everyone that has had them before, they don’t feel great for awhile.
“I’m just really happy to be here cause they did a great job. Some guys don’t come back soon and some guys do. Obviously feeling pretty good and I’m going to continue to do my treatment.”
After playing just 18 snaps in his return last week, Jones was deemed “fully available” by head coach Bill Belichick this week. While he again got the start, Jones played the whole contest and matched a career-high with 77 snaps. In his first full game back, there was a bit of reclamation period for the quarterback.
“Coming off of anything, trying to play each play for what it is. Adding up those plays, and you get into 70, 80-play game, then you get that confidence back,” Jones said. “Each play is different, sometimes it will hurt or it won't hurt. It depends on the play. That’s football.”
The results were not all great, as Jones and the Patriots offense sputtered at times. But, they did enough to leave the Meadowlands with a 22-17 victory over the Jets, perhaps laying the groundwork for the offense moving forward.
“That’s a really good football team,” Jones said. “I thought we played really well on the offensive side of the ball minus a few things. We watched the tape. When we play well and do things good, it shows up and we know we can be a good offense.”