Curran: Mac Jones ‘probably’ won’t return until after Halloween

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The most crucial question facing the Patriots right now is the length of Mac Jones’ absence with a reported severe high ankle sprain.

NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran predicts it could be a while.

On “Gresh & Keefe” Tuesday, Curran said he thinks it’s unlikely that Jones will return before Halloween.

Tom Curran on Mac Jones' timeline

“Best-case scenario would be two weeks. The swelling goes down, and he’s able to get out there and play,” said Curran. “But worst-case scenario, from stuff I’ve sourced and medical personnel I’ve communicated with who take care of athletes, is basically 2-8 weeks depending on the severity. The severity, given his reaction, was pretty extreme. One would have to say you’re probably not gonna see him before Halloween.”

Jones injured his left ankle Sunday after throwing his third interception when Ravens lineman Calais Campbell knocked into his leg. The second-year passer was screaming in pain while being helped off the field.

NFL Media’s Tom Pelisssero reports Jones would prefer to avoid surgery. Jones is seeking a second opinion on his ankle, according to Mike Giardi.

Curran says the Patriots’ handling of Jones’ injury could be a pivotal factor in their relationship going forward. Years ago, the Patriots squabbled with Rob Gronkowski over the length of his absence after undergoing offseason forearm and back surgeries.

“I find it fascinating in that this is a very, I wouldn’t say tenuous, but it’s an interesting spot for the Patriots in their relationship with Mac Jones,” said Curran. “Every single player in the NFL should always seek a second opinion. That’s no disrespect to any team doctors, of whom I’ve had relationships with a few — cordial and friendly relationships. But there is an inherent conflict of interest between team doctors and players. They’re paid by the team, they want the player out there as soon as flippin’ possible, and if that means recommending a route that gets that player out there, whether it be surgery or non-surgery, and you can get him out there quicker with incurring some risk, then you go ahead and do that.”

Ultimately, Curran thinks the Patriots will be cautious with Jones, in which case we could be seeing a lot of Brian Hoyer throughout October.

“I think the Patriots would be extremely wise, and I imagine that they will be, more inclined to be cautious than aggressive. I think that’s a great idea,” said Curran.

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