New England Patriots rule out QB Mac Jones; Brian Hoyer gets start vs. Green Bay Packers

ByMIKE REISS via via logo
September 30, 2022, 5:19 PM

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Despite a surprise appearance at the start of practice Friday, New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones will not play in Sunday's road game against the Green Bay Packers, the team announced.

Jones has what doctors diagnosed as a severe high ankle sprain that would cause many to have surgery and is likely to miss multiple games, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Jones suffered the injury in Sunday's loss to the Baltimore Ravens when 6-foot-8, 307-pound defensive lineman Calais Campbell landed on him.

Veteran Brian Hoyer, now in his 14th NFL season, will start in Jones' place.

Coach Bill Belichick repeated multiple times earlier this week that the Patriots were taking it "day by day" with Jones. Earlier Friday, when asked what he would need to see from Jones for him to play, Belichick added: "That will be a decision made by the medical people, in consultation with Mac, of course."

Belichick said there are situations when a player might be less than 100 percent but could still play and that then it would be a coach's decision. But that didn't seem to be the case with Jones, who hardly moved or stepped into any throws in the limited time he was on the practice field Friday.

Hoyer, 36, has lost his past 11 starts dating back to the 2016 season, but Belichick expressed confidence in him.

"He knows [the offense] better than anybody. He has had a lot of experience, been in a lot of different systems, seen a lot of football, taken a lot of snaps for us in various capacities," Belichick said. "I thought he played well in the preseason."

Hoyer was 13-of-18 for 136 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions in the preseason.

"You never want to see anyone get hurt, ever. And we all know Mac's hunger to compete to be out there," Hoyer said. "For me, you support him, but also be ready to play in the same sense. That's just the nature of the job."

Rookie Bailey Zappe, a fourth-round draft pick out of Western Kentucky, will elevate to the No. 2 role behind Hoyer.

The Patriots also ruled out starting defensive tackle Lawrence Guy (shoulder) and backup offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste (thumb) for Sunday's game in Green Bay, where the Packers have the NFL's longest active regular-season winning streak at 14 games.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events