In less than 90 minutes, the New England Patriots will kick off their fifth game of the regular season. They will take on the Detroit Lions in front of a home crowd, but will have to do so without their starting quarterback yet again.
Still nursing an ankle injury, Mac Jones has been ruled out for a second straight week. He is among seven unable to play in the game against the Lions:
- S Joshuah Bledsoe
- DT Lawrence Guy
- QB Mac Jones
- LB DaMarcus Mitchell
- TE Jonnu Smith
- RB Pierre Strong Jr.
- CB Shaun Wade
Jones entered the weekend as doubtful and his inactivity was expected, meaning that it did not come as too big a surprise. The same is true for some of the other absentees — including two fellow starters: defensive tackle Lawrence Guy will be out for a second game in a row because of a shoulder issue; tight end Jonnu Smith is inactive after hurting his ankle in Week 4.
Both were listed on the injury report on Friday, as was DaMarcus Mitchell (concussion); Guy and Mitchell were both already ruled out, with Jones and Smith doubtful to play. The other three inactives, meanwhile, are all healthy scratches.
This also means that all six members of New England’s questionables list are good to go: wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (knee), offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn (hip), linebacker Raekwon McMillan (thumb), cornerback Jalen Mills (hamstring), and safeties Kyle Dugger (knee) and Adrian Phillips (ribs). Meyers and Mills will return after missing last week’s game against the Green Bay Packers.
Also back is second-round draft pick Tyquan Thornton. The speedy wideout started the season on injured reserve after fracturing his clavicle in preseason. He returned to practice earlier this week and was promptly activated to the 53-man roster on Saturday. The game against Detroit will be his NFL debut, giving stand-in quarterback Bailey Zappe another weapon to work with.
- WR D.J. Chark
- DL John Cominsky
- DL Charles Harris
- S Juju Hughes
- OT Matt Nelson
- CB Amani Oruwariye
- RB D’Andre Swift
The biggest news from a Lions perspective is not who is inactive, but rather who is not: wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, the team’s most productive pass catcher so far this season, has officially been cleared. He was listed as questionable to play with an ankle injury that forced him to miss last Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.