Patriots

Matthew Slater backed the Patriots to ‘respond the right way’ after Mac Jones’ injury

Slater said the Patriots have confidence in 'Axel,' citing Brian Hoyer's little-used first name.

Matthew Slater
Matthew Slater celebrates the Patriots' Week 2 win over the Steelers. Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Patriots will need all the leadership that the team can provide after falling to 1-2 after Sunday’s loss to the Ravens and losing quarterback Mac Jones for an unknown period of time due to a “severe” high-ankle sprain.

Matthew Slater, one of the team’s captains and a 10-time special teams Pro Bowler, once again helped to fill that role with reassuring comments on Monday.

Speaking during a press conference, the 37-year-old Slater backed his teammates to pick themselves up after a defeat.

“I do believe that we’ll respond the right way,” Slater told reporters. “We’re very early on in our season here, and if we don’t handle it the right way, this thing can spiral away from us.

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“Needless to say, when you lose a player at that position of that caliber, it is challenging,” Slater continued. “But we have confidence in all the quarterbacks on our roster. Obviously, Coach [Belichick] has them on our roster for a reason.”

Without Jones, the Patriots are expected to turn to veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer, with rookie fourth-round pick Bailey Zappe behind him on the depth chart.

Slater said the Patriots believe in their backup quarterback.

“I’ve known Axel for 14 years now, been a teammate of his on-and-off over that period of time. We have a lot of confidence in him,” said Slater, referencing Hoyer’s little-used first name.

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