Skip to content

GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS.

X

What does Patriots QB Mac Jones need to show to be deemed ready to play?

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones sets up to throw during practice at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, Oct. 5 in Foxboro. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones sets up to throw during practice at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, Oct. 5 in Foxboro. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

Quarterbacks coach Joe Judge was careful not to step on a loaded grenade when asked Tuesday what the coaching staff needs to see from Mac Jones before being satisfied he’s ready to play coming off the high ankle sprain he suffered Week 3.

“I’m not the doctors and I’m not the head coach,” Judge told reporters during a video call.

But he is a coach who has his eyes on the quarterbacks during practice. Pressed further, Judge came up with a few necessary requirements.

“In terms of when you look at players coming back from injury, I think generally speaking, there are two things you’re concerned with as a coach,” Judge explained. “And that’s number one, can they hurt it any worse? And you never want to put a player in a position to being worse off. And then number two would be, can they protect themselves?”

Judge reiterated that Jones, who opted against having surgery, was doing everything possible to return.

With the emergence of Bailey Zappe, however, there’s no urgency to have Jones play before he’s 100 percent. Zappe has performed well in leading the team to wins over Detroit and Cleveland.

“Guys coming off injuries, you have to see where they’re at within their rehab and how they’re moving,” Judge said. “But again, I deflect — those decisions are made by people above me, the head coach and the medical staff.”

Judge did say it was helpful having Jones on the sidelines, offering suggestions on game day. The Patriots quarterback, who was listed as “questionable” against the Browns before being downgraded, traveled to Cleveland and was on the sidelines during the game.

“Yeah, he showed a lot of great leadership this weekend. He really did,” Judge said. “And you always want a guy like Mac – obviously, he’s a captain on the team – you want him down there. You want him with the team. You want him in uniform. Wasn’t available this week, for certain reasons, but I’d say having him down there is a very positive impact on the team. It was good for the other players. … I noticed the coaches having conversations on the bench with Mac throughout the series, looking at pictures together, seeing things he’s picking up on.

“Those conversations, talking with the players in-game, you’ve always gotta value their perspective of what they’re seeing out there – the guys playing, the guys on the sideline watching, staying in tune. Because they’re looking at it through a different lens.”

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.