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Bill Belichick: Mac Jones could be medically cleared at any time

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Although the Patriots are listed as the underdogs in Week 6, Mike Florio and Chris Simms aren't buying it. They explain why New England has the upper hand against the Browns.

If you thought Patriots head coach Bill Belichick would provide some clarity as to quarterback Mac Jones’ availability during his Friday press conference — why?

It’s seemed this week like there’s a chance for Jones to be back for Sunday’s game against the Browns. He’s been limited at practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Belichick did concede that Jones has been “making good improvement,” noting that the quarterback did a lot more yesterday than he did last Thursday. But Belichick didn’t divulge much else.

“I imagine Friday the same thing,” Belichick said. “But, I mean, we’ll see.

“I know everybody wants a definite answer, but it’s just totally unrealistic to be able to do that. I don’t know how a player’s going to feel after three days of practice, depending on what the volume is, what the intensity is — it’s impossible to know that until you’ve actually experienced it, or he experiences it. So, we’ll see.”

Belichick did not answer whether or not Jones has been medically cleared to play, saying only, “It could happen at any time.”

“There’s no deadline on that,” Belichick said. “The injury report is the injury report. There’s a deadline on that and there’s a classification on that. And that’s what we follow. Internally, we can do whatever we want — well, not do whatever we want, but based on the information that’s available, we can make any determination that’s appropriate. Again, part of that is how a player feels, what he’s able to do, what he’s not able to do, what the recovery from what his previous output was or wasn’t. But, no, I’m not going into how internally we talk about the players and all that.”

Jones has missed the last two games with his ankle sprain. If he’s not able to play on Sunday, rookie Bailey Zappe would presumably start his second consecutive game.

The Patriots’ injury report is due out later on Friday. But if Jones is questionable, there may not be definitive word on if he’ll play until 90 minutes before kickoff when New England’s inactives are released.