There has been no shortage of confusion surrounding Mac Jones' ankle injury ahead of Sunday's game vs. the Green Bay Packers.
The injury, diagnosed as a "pretty severe" high-ankle sprain, was expected to keep Jones out of commission for at least a couple of weeks. It remains unclear whether the second-year quarterback will undergo surgery, but as of Thursday, he still isn't ruling out playing in Week 4.
That seems unlikely as Jones hasn't participated in practice this week, but perhaps he will be ready to return to the field sooner than anticipated. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Will Davis joined our Phil Perry on the latest episode of the Next Pats Podcast to discuss Jones' injury and whether there's really a chance he could be under center on Sunday.
"It's more of a cumulative thing when you're talking about a high-ankle sprain," Davis said. "My guess is that it would be that his pain and swelling prevent him from being able to play to the level he wants to. ... Or, it's sprained in a milder way and he's actually stable and able to tolerate it with appropriate taping that may provide some stability, and then he's able to play.
"That's looking in the short-term. In the longer term, is it going to be an ongoing damage thing? It is more of a cumulative thing when you're talking about developing damage to the cartilage surfaces within the joint that cause that ongoing instability.
"My suspicion is if he's able to tolerate it and he doesn't have significant pain and swelling that prevents him from playing, and his imaging shows that he's got enough stability in the ankle based on the remaining ligaments and if they did any stress exam, my suspicion is he would do fine if non-operative is attempted."
Also in the new episode: Dr. Will Davis explains the tightrope procedure. Why is this procedure good for athletes? Is this procedure a good fit for Mac? And answering questions from the Next Pats mailbag.