Belichick says Hoyer will be a starter if Jones is absent

If Mac Jones is unable to play Sunday for the Patriots as they visit Green Bay, veteran Brian Hoyer will take his place.
But Bill Belichick is still leaving open the possibility that his second-year quarterback will be ready to play.

That’s pretty much all the Patriots coach was willing to share about the left ankle condition that left Jones at risk of missing his first career start

“It’s definitely getting better,” Belichick said of Jones. “He made a lot of progress in the last 48 hours. So we’ll continue to take it day by day and see how he progresses.”

Jones did not participate in Wednesday’s practice and Belichick declined to confirm whether the injury was a sprained upper ankle.

“Do I look like a doctor, an orthopedic surgeon? I really don’t know. Talk to the medical experts,” he said.

What have these experts conveyed to you?

“Day by day,” Belichick said. “They valued it. What difference does it make for me? Do you think I’m going to read the MRI? That’s not my job.”

Hoyer has started seven NFL teams during his 14-year career, but has lost in his last 11 starts and has an overall record of 16-23. The only game to start in 2020 came in New England’s loss to Kansas City.

He took the place of Cam Newton, who was absent with COVID-19.

“I’ve played 14 years. I have a lot of bad memories. I also have good memories,” Hoyer said. “A match doesn’t define me. A move doesn’t either. I’m excited about any opportunity I have to play, so I couldn’t care less about that.”

Belichick says he trusts the 36-year-old veteran and that his ability to handle the offense is outstanding.

“He knows her better than anyone from an overall experience standpoint. This year is this year, but Brian has a lot of experience. It’s been in a lot of different systems. He has seen many games, received many centers for us from various capacities and played well in the preseason. If we need him, he will be ready to play.”

Hoyer acknowledged that this time there is a difference. It has been he who started the week of training by taking repetitions with the first team and with a high probability of playing on Sunday. He said he also had repeated with headlines last week when Jones was absent due to illness.

“Obviously it’s more beneficial than finding out on Saturday morning that Cam has COVID and me thinking inside ‘I have COVID. I was around him all day.’ That was a unique year and a special situation,” Hoyer said.

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