“We’re on to Cincinnati” has some new competition when it comes to Bill Belichick’s press conference catchphrases.
Belichick repeatedly described quarterback Mac Jones‘ status as “day by day” when speaking to reporters on Wednesday.
“Saw Mac a little while ago,” Belichick said. “Definitely getting better. Probably won’t practice today, but made a lot of progress here in the last 48 hours. So, keep plugging away and take that day by day and see how it goes. That’s where we are for today.”
Jones reportedly has a “pretty severe” high ankle sprain and is evaluating his options as to how to treat it before establishing a timeline to get back on the field.
Belichick later said, “He’s getting better day by day. We’ll see how he is tomorrow. He’s a lot better than he was yesterday. We’ll see what it is.”
Belichick was asked if Jones was to have a procedure and simply repeated, “Day by day,” smiling at one point.
In response to another question about Jones’ ankle injury, Belichick said, “What do I look like? A doctor? An orthopedic surgeon? I don’t know. Talk to the medical experts.”
Team doctors, of course, are not readily available to media. So when Belichick was asked what the medical experts have told him, he replied, “Day by day. We’ll evaluate him day by day. I mean, what difference does it make to me? You think I’m going to read the MRI? That’s not my job.”
Belichick did confirm that if Jones is unable to play this week against the Packers, Brian Hoyer would start at quarterback.
“He knows [the offense] better than anybody. I mean, from an overall experience standpoint,” Belichick said. “This year is this year. But, yeah, Brian’s had a lot of experience. He’s been in a lot of different systems. Seen a lot of football. Taken a lot of snaps for us in various capacities. Thought he played well in the preseason. If we need him to go, he’ll be ready to go.”
While Hoyer has spent the majority of his career with the Patriots, he’s started just one game for the team — in 2020. He’s appeared in 75 games with 39 starts, 16 of which came for his hometown Browns between 2013-2014.