Mac Jones' teammates seemingly don't want the New England Patriots quarterback to rush himself back from his ankle injury.
"Love Mac [Jones]. Tough, tough, tough guy. But he's hurting pretty good," an unnamed Patriots player told Mike Giardi of NFL Network. "Hope everyone's smart about this. It's a long season."
Giardi reported Jones is still "operating as if he has a chance" to play in Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers and told teammates "to not count him out."
This comes despite suffering what doctors diagnosed as a severe high-ankle sprain in the Week 3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Jones was in obvious pain as he limped off the field in Sunday's game:
Jones has struggled during his second NFL season, totaling just two passing touchdowns and five interceptions in three games. His 76.2 passer rating is significantly lower than his 92.5 mark from 2021 when he led the Patriots to a 10-7 record and a playoff appearance.
The No. 15 overall draft pick earned a Pro Bowl selection and finished second in voting for Offensive Rookie of the Year behind Ja'Marr Chase.
Things clearly haven't gone as smoothly in 2022, and the latest ankle injury could exacerbate his problems.
If Jones is unable to play, the Patriots will turn to veteran Brian Hoyer. The 14-year veteran has spent eight seasons in New England across three different stints, but has only made one start with the team.
The 36-year-old has 39 career starts in the NFL, but just two since 2018.