It’s no understatement to call this a make-or-break season for Mac Jones. He’s got a major upgrade at offensive coordinators and has an improved supporting cast around him heading into his third pro season, but another flop could easily cost him his job.
Of course, he can’t control other players’ health, and that makes the injury from Patriots practice on Monday a potentially important one for Jones.
Mike Gesicki Injury
Mike Gesicki left practice holding his left arm after taking a hard tackle. There’s no word yet on the severity of the injury, but this is an immediate concern. A potential dislocated shoulder (something Gesicki has suffered before) or broken collarbone would cost him some significant time.
And even if it’s not serious, even a couple weeks of missed practices could be a significant setback as he tries to learn a new offense and build chemistry with a new QB.
Gesicki is expected to see significant playing time alongside Hunter Henry at the tight end spot, and Henry himself has a long history of injury issues that may well vault Gesicki into a more significant role.
Jones has plenty of options at wide receiver with JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tyquan Thornton, DeVante Parter and Kendrick Bourne all looking like viable options, but in the Patriots’ often run-heavy offense it’s crucial to have reliable receiving options at tight end.
Gesicki had a down year in 2022 with the Miami Dolphins’ offense leaning heavily on its wide receivers, but he’s only two years removed from a 73-reception, 780-yard season in 2021.
Preseason injuries are always unfortunate, and it’s especially frustrating to see one come during what sounds like a fairly aggressive tackling drill. You want your players all up to speed for full-strength contact by the time Week 1 arrives, but it’s also so important to balance that risk with the need to keep your players healthy.
I trust Bill Belichik to toe that line strategically, but if this proves to be a serious injury then expect Bill to catch some flack for it.
Ultimately Mac Jones won’t get to use this as an excuse, serious or not. This is a no-excuses kind of season for him, and he’ll have to overcome whatever adversity comes his way.
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