New England Patriots QB Mac Jones sits out practice with illness; unlikely to affect availability in week 2, per source

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones did not practice Thursday due to an illness, according to the team.

Jones’ illness is not currently expected to affect his availability for Sunday’s road game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to sources.

But it’s also not ideal on a day when, among other things, the Patriots work on third-down situations. Veteran Brian Hoyer and rookie Bailey Zappe were the lone quarterbacks at Thursday’s practice.

Jones’ illness adds another layer to an eventful week for the second-year quarterback, who injured his back in Sunday’s season-opening loss and underwent X-rays shortly afterward, leading to the cancellation of his postgame press conference.

Jones said all the postgame tests came back “fine.” He practiced fully Wednesday and reported afterward that his back was responding well.

“Feel good, stay warm, throw the football,” he said, adding that he was ready to play Sunday.

The Jones-led Patriots offense committed three turnovers in a 20-7 loss to the Miami Dolphins, while the Steelers’ defense created five turnovers in an overtime win over the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals.

Before his illness, Jones said, “Steelers [have] always had the hard-nosed, turnover-type football team. They have kept that MO”

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