Perry: Patriots react to Mac Jones injury, potential road ahead without him originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
FOXBORO -- Patriots players knew there was a chance they'd be without quarterback Mac Jones for some time. They expressed faith in backup Brian Hoyer, but understood that losing Jones would be a blow.
When asked how the Patriots could survive without Jones, Kendrick Bourne paused.
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"That's a good question," Bourne said. "Just taking faith in Brian. Pray that Mac is OK. Brian is a vet. He knows the system. He knows the reads. He knows the coaches. He just knows everything about this organization. I think we'll be all right, man. It's about us players complementing him, helping him. Whenever he messes up, we pick him up. If we mess up, he picks us up. I think that's where the team aspect comes in."
Jones injured his left ankle on the final drive of New England's 37-26 loss to the Ravens on Sunday. Calais Campbell hit Jones after he attempted a pass in Bourne's direction. The way Campbell landed caused Jones' legs to fold awkwardly and forced Jones to grab at his lower left leg soon after he hit the turf. He limped to the sideline and back toward the Patriots locker room without putting any weight on his left foot.
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According to multiple reports, Jones will undergo an MRI on Monday, but the thought is that he has suffered a high-ankle sprain and could miss time.
Missing Jones -- a captain in his second season -- would be an emotional hit to the team, tight end Jonnu Smith said.
"Absolutely," Smith explained. "But the guys we got in this locker room, man, we can overcome that adversity. I don't know where we're going with [Jones' injury], but I know we'll be ready to face whatever comes our way. Mac's a fighter. I don't know how serious it is, but I'm 100 percent sure if he can play, he will play."
Patriots players admitted that they lost their focus when it came to ball-security late in Sunday's loss. Jones threw three second-half picks, Nelson Agholor fumbled away a possession late in the fourth quarter, and Bourne fumbled but recovered on the second-to-last offensive play for the Patriots.
Asked how the team could keep its focus if working with a backup quarterback, Smith seemed optimistic.
"The guys that we've got in this locker room," Smith said, "I'm one veteran guy of many. Guys that have been in the league. Guys that have experienced things like this. Can't look too far ahead. I don't know the situation yet, but we just gotta continue to put our hard hat on, grab our lunch pail and go to work."
Patriots center David Andrews said he has "tons" of faith in Hoyer should the soon-to-be 37-year-old be forced to take over. The No. 3 passer in Foxboro is rookie fourth-round pick Bailey Zappe out of Western Kentucky.
"Brian has been here for a long time," Andrews said. "I’ve got a lot of respect for how he comes in, works every day and prepares like he is going to play."