New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick recently became the betting favorite to earn Associated Press Coach of the Year honors, thanks largely to the performances of uncrowned Rookie of the Year Mac Jones. The first-year quarterback didn’t have to do a whole lot during the win over the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 6 and was able to relax over the subsequent bye week ahead of this coming Saturday’s game at the Indianapolis Colts.
As Charean Williams noted for Pro Football Talk, however, eyebrows were raised when the Patriots released an updated injury report Tuesday and included Jones on it with a left thumb (non-throwing) issue. Per Nick O’Malley of Mass Live, the Patriots initially said Jones was limited in practice but then updated the list to say the rookie was a full participant.
Jones attempted only three passes against Buffalo because of awful weather conditions, and there was no indication on that Monday night that he was dealing with any type of physical setback. According to ESPN stats, the 23-year-old enters Week 15 11th among all eligible signal-callers with a 97.0 passer rating, 14th with a 51.7 total QBR, tied for 18th with 16 touchdown passes and 19th with 2,869 passing yards.
Considering exactly when Jones hurt the thumb is unknown, his status will be something to follow ahead of Saturday’s prime-time contest.