The New England Patriots will hold their second practice of the week on Thursday afternoon, but Mac Jones will not participate in the session. As was announced by the team, the sophomore quarterback will be held out due to an illness.
Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the 24-year-old is dealing with an upset stomach.
Jones already entered the week with questions about his availability stemming from a back injury sustained in the Patriots’ season-opening loss to the Miami Dolphins. He underwent X-rays after the game, but after the results were negative and further evaluation also did not show any issues, he participated fully in Wednesday’s practice.
The expectation was that Jones would be goo to go for the upcoming matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but his illness might just change the outlook. The Patriots will hold one more practice on Friday before flying to Pennsylvania on Saturday.
Whether or not he will take the trip remains to be seen. If not, New England will be forced to turn to veteran backup quarterback Brian Hoyer; rookie QB Bailey Zappe would be elevated to the second-string spot in case Jones is unable to start the game.
A full participate on Wednesday, Jones was one of six players listed on New England’s practice report. Linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley (toe) was absent, while running back Pierre Strong Jr. (shoulder), cornerback Shaun Wade (ankle) and safeties Adrian Phillips (ribs) and Joshuah Bledsoe (groin) were all limited.