Patriots

Patriots place QB Brian Hoyer on injured reserve

Hoyer suffered his injury in the first quarter of the Patriots' Week 4 loss to the Packers.

New England Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer during an NFL football game.
New England Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer during an NFL football game. AP Photo/Mike Roemer

The Patriots placed backup quarterback Brian Hoyer on injured reserve Thursday after Hoyer suffered a concussion in his start against the Packers in Week 4.

Hoyer started in place of Mac Jones, who sustained a bad ankle injury in Week 3. Hoyer, however, left the game with his head injury in the first quarter after going 5-for-6 as a passer for 37 yards. He was replaced by Bailey Zappe, whose 10-for-15 afternoon kept the Patriots alive against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

Bill Belichick declined to offer any insight into the quarterback situation when meeting with reporters on Wednesday, repeatedly pointing to the injury report.

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“I can’t wait to get it out,” Belichick said. “I just want to make sure it’s accurate, so we’ll see where things are in practice.”

Jones has reportedly been making progress, and he was listed as “limited” at Wednesday’s practice. He seems to be pushing for a return against the Lions on Sunday.

“If he’s listed as limited today, I would say at least that means he has a shot of being out there on Sunday,” NFL insider Ian Rapoport said on Wednesday. “He is the Patriots’ starter. You know he was dying out there when Bailey Zappe was going toe to toe with Aaron Rodgers. If it is humanly possible for Mac Jones to be out there on the field this week, he will be.”

If Zappe gets the start, he told reporters he will feel a little more “comfortability” entering his second start.

“I’m going to lean on my teammates a lot,” Zappe said. “They really helped me a lot against the Packers. I’m going to lean on them even more in this upcoming game or whenever it is. There are some things I’ve learned with my fundamentals, being able to calm myself down. I’m continuing to focus on my job.”

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The NFL is still reeling from the aftermath of Tua Tagovailoa’s pair of devastating concussions in Week 3 and 4 and seems to be cracking down on head injuries. Tagovailoa — who stumbled and fell to the ground after a big hit in Week 3 and displayed fencing symptoms with his hands after being knocked out again in Week 4 — may have suffered permanent brain damage, according to famous neuropathologist Bennet Omalu.

“If you love your life, if you love your family, you love your kids — if you have kids — it’s time to gallantly walk away,” Omalu told TMZ in a recent interview. “Go find something else to do.”

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