GREEN BAY, Wisc. (WPRI) — The Patriots have a daunting task in front of them as they look to get back up to .500 on the season.
The team fell to 1-2 with last week’s loss to the Ravens. But the bigger loss, at least in the short term, was an injury to second-year quarterback Mac Jones.
Jones, who left late in the game with an apparent high ankle sprain, returned to practice on Friday but was ruled out for Sunday’s game against one of the better teams in the league.
Veteran backup Brian Hoyer will be under center for New England as the Patriots head into Lambeau Field to take on Aaron Rodgers and the 2-1 Packers.
Green Bay is coming off a narrow victory over the Buccaneers and currently sits fourth in the latest power rankings behind the undefeated Eagles and two of the Patriots’ AFC East rivals: the Dolphins (also undefeated) and the Bills.
Kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 p.m. and the game’s on WPRI 12.
Below are some notes and quotes to get you ready for the game:
- This will be just the fourth time the Patriots have played at Lambeau Field, and the first in eight years.
- The all-time series between the two franchises is tied 6-6, which includes the Packers’ win in Super Bowl XXXI. The Patriots won the last matchup at home in 2018.
- Aaron Rodgers has a 1-2 record against New England.
- Bill Belichick (322) is just two wins shy of tying George Halas (324) for second place all-time among NFL head coaches (regular and postseason combined).
Belichick on Mac’s injury: “Ultimately, that will be a decision made by the medical people, in consultation with Mac [Jones], of course, like we do with any player. He’s no different than any other player. I mean he is, but I’m just saying the process is the same: medical evaluation, talk to the player, and as a coach you, at whatever point, get the information that you get and you make a decision, if there’s a decision to be made. If there’s no decision to be made medically, then I’m out. But if there’s a decision to be made, if a player’s at X percent, he can do this. The player feel likes he can do this, he’s ready to play, then I’ll make a decision. Do I want this player at X percent? Or somebody else at, let’s call it, 100 percent? But a lot of times it never gets to that point. Occasionally it does. If it does then that becomes my decision, in consultation with the player, and usually his position coach, or the staff.”
Hoyer on his preparations this week: “My approach is the same always. Whether I get reps or I don’t get reps, you always got to be ready to play. As we saw on Sunday, you’re only one play away. I mean, that was the last offensive play of the game, so it didn’t really come up that day. But, it’s the nature of your job and the business that we’re in. Always try to be as prepared as I can, whether I’m taking every rep in practice or I’m taking none. It’s just a day-by-day process and how we’re handling it and go from there.”
Belichick on the Packers: “It’s a good football team, they’re a very good situational team. I don’t think anybody is any better than Aaron Rodgers through the years. End of games, two-minute, four-minute, four-minute ahead, two-minute behind, all those situations. One-play type situations, cadence. He just takes situational football to a much higher level. We always study them and of course we face them. We’re dealing with all the things that we studied and watched him and the Packers do going back to when Mike [McCarthy] was there. Of course now with Coach [Matt] LaFleur, but it just continues to be very impressive. Big play for them defensively at the end of the game with the two-point stop, beat Tampa last week. Good players, good kicker, clutch kicker. We’re going to have to play well for 60 minutes. You can’t play well for 59 and a half against them. That won’t be good enough.”