The immediate future of the Patriots currently lies in the hands of Brian Hoyer and/or Bailey Zappe with Mac Jones likely to be out multiple games with a severe high ankle spain.
How quickly Jones gets back into the mix depends now not just on how bad the injury is but how he chooses to recover from it.
"The choices here for Mac Jones are rehabbing from this injury, which I'm told is his preference, or potentially undergoing surgery -- most likely the tightrope surgery that Tua Tagovailoa had back in college," reported Tom Pelissero of NFL Media.
Both Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts suffered high ankle sprains at Alabama and returned within four weeks due to the tightrope surgeries, which bypass the insertion of screws into the shin bone that take longer to heal. N'Keal Harry had a similar procedure on his own ankle after suffering a high ankle sprain with the Chicago Bears after being traded by the Patriots.
Harry, though, was still listed as out for around eight weeks, which would not be a desired outcome for Jones. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee a tightrope surgery would get the Patriots quarterback on the field again by Halloween.
That's why Jones might be opting for the RICE route rather than the knife.
"Every expectation I've got is that there won't be surgery right now -- or at least that was the hope as of yesterday. Rehab, rest, and he'll get back eventually. There also could be a PRP injection ... that supposedly will help with the healing," added NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.
With this being the first major injury of Jones' career, it can be hard to predict which way things will go. One thing you can be assured of is that he, who has taken his fair share of hard shots and come back for more, will push to get back on the field as soon as possible.
The hope is that: 1. he'll be fully ready to go and not in danger of re-injuring himself, and 2. his return isn't too long delayed -- for the Patriots' sake.