Patriots QB Mac Jones (illness) to sit out Thursday practice ahead of Steelers game

Mac Jones’ back isn’t the only source of physical problems this week.

The Patriots quarterback is sitting out of New England’s Thursday practice due to an illness. Jones is dealing with an upset stomach and not an illness that is believed to be related to COVD-19, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported.

Jones sustained a back injury when he took a crushing hit from both sides during New England’s loss to Miami in Week 1, a blow vicious enough to draw a roughing the passer penalty. X-rays on Jones’ back were negative, giving him a chance to play in the Patriots’ Week 2 game at the Pittsburgh Steelers.

A stomach bug will give the quarterback another day to rest, but it sounds as if it won’t be a pleasant day off.

New England mustered just seven points in the loss to Miami, struggling to both protect Jones (he was strip-sacked by Dolphins safety Byron Jones, leading to a Miami touchdown) and finish drives. The Patriots finished with 271 yards of total offense, and five New England possessions ended in Miami territory, but only one produced points.

Jones completed 21 of 30 passes for 213 yards, one touchdown (to Ty Montgomery in the flat) and one interception. He turned the ball over twice in the defeat.

Jones will need to play better in order to give the Patriots their best chance of victory in Pittsburgh. He’ll also need to feel better than he did Thursday.

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