Ted Johnson: Why Pats can still win with Brian Hoyer originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The ending to Sunday's loss to the Baltimore Ravens was a nightmare for the New England Patriots.
Not only did Mac Jones throw his third interception of the game to seal Baltimore's 37-26 win, the Patriots quarterback also injured his left ankle on the play. Jones didn't put any weight on his left leg and appeared to be in serious pain as he exited to the locker room.
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The good news for New England is the X-rays on Jones' ankle were negative. The bad news is Jones could still miss time, meaning veteran QB Brian Hoyer may have to take over next week vs. the Green Bay Packers and beyond.
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It's a less-than-ideal situation for the Patriots, but former Pats linebacker Ted Johnson isn't ready to hit the panic button just yet. He believes Hoyer can fill in admirably in Jones' absence.
"I don't know if I'm that alarmed," Johnson said Sunday on Patriots Postgame Live. "Let's face it, after that Green Bay game, the schedule gets pretty light. I feel like, believe it or not, you can win games with Brian Hoyer after this Green Bay game. ...
"I think he's a smart guy. I think he's composed. I think he knows this offense inside and out. I don't think it would be as much of a drop if Brian Hoyer is in there as people think."
After their trip to Lambeau Field, the Patriots' next seven games will come against the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts, Jets, and then the Minnesota Vikings. That's a manageable stretch for New England if Hoyer can play at an adequate level.
Like Johnson, Patriots center David Andrews has faith in the soon-to-be 37-year-old QB
Hoyer appeared in five games for the Patriots last season, completing nine of his 11 passes for 227 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions. His last start came on October 5, 2020 in Kansas City, when he completed 15 of 24 passes for 130 yards, no TDs and one INT in a 26-10 loss.
Rookie QB Bailey Zappe could also see some playing time while Jones is sidelined.
Next Sunday's game vs. the Packers is scheduled for a 4:35 p.m. ET kickoff.