Patriots Pounded with Early Setbacks and Injuries

The New England Patriots have begun the season quite eventfully. All eyes were on second-year quarterback Mac Jones, eager to see his development post rookie season. 

Week One began with a loss in the season opener to the Miami Dolphins, the Dolphins securing an easy 20-7 win at home. Some concerns were raised as Jones suffered a back injury. Ultimately, the QB was deemed okay, as it was just spasms. Week Two saw the Pats secure their first win of the season in Pittsburgh with a final score of 17-14.

Things quickly went south from there. Jones suffered a high grade left ankle sprain in the last offensive series in Week Three against the Ravens, hobbling off the field in what looked to be excruciating pain. New England fell 37-26, and Jones threw three interceptions before his injury. 

Jones’ status was unclear for days, with fans and media in the dark about whether the QB would be available to play in Green Bay the next week. It was soon revealed that he was scratched and would be out for the week. The Patriots have yet to place Jones on the Injured Reserve, and his condition is “day-to-day,” as reporters were told over and over again by Jones and Bill Belichick. 

Week Four brought a whole host of troubles New England’s way. The team traveled to Green Bay to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers with backup quarterback Brian Hoyer in the driver’s seat. Hoyer, however, was sadly sacked in the first offensive series of the game and was taken out to be evaluated for a head injury. After going through concussion protocols, he was ruled out for the remainder of the game. 

Third string QB Bailey Zappe was called in for the first snaps of his NFL career. The rookie held his own and put up points, with help from his running backs. Utilizing defensive support, the game was close throughout all four quarters, sending the game into overtime. 

Maybe it’s just nerves, maybe it’s the inexperience, but whatever it was, Zappe was unable to produce in OT, and the Packers won with a field goal, 27-24. Zappe went 10-of-15 for 99 yards with one touchdown. The future of New England’s quarterback situation is unknown, as both Jones and Hoyer’s conditions are currently up in the air.

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