On good days, Bill Belichick doesn’t like discussing injuries.
These are not the best of days for the New England Patriots. They’re 1-2. Their offense has been a struggle. And they’ll presumably be without quarterback Mac Jones this week.
We need to add “presumably” because Belichick isn’t saying. He won’t even say that Jones has a high ankle sprain, although that has been reported a few times since Sunday, when Jones had his leg bent awkwardly when he was brought down by Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Calais Campbell. He was carried to the locker room in obvious pain.
On Wednesday, Belichick was asked about Jones’ injury during his media availability on Wednesday. He repeated “day by day” over and over, often pausing for effect between the three words to let everyone know he was annoyed to be asked about an injury to his starting quarterback in a media setting.
When the questions kept coming, Belichick went into full Grump Mode.
“What do I look like, a doctor? An orthopedic surgeon? Like, I don’t know,” Belichick said. “Talk to the medical experts.”
Belichick was asked what the Patriots’ medical staff had said about it.
“Day by day,” Belichick said. “What difference does it make to me? You think I’m going to read the MRI? That’s not my job.”
Belichick said later that Jones is “getting better day by day,” which is a little bit more information and as much as we’ll get from him.
Even if you don’t know how NFL teams operate, you know that Belichick is being purposefully obtuse. He doesn’t need to be a doctor or read an MRI to know what the prognosis is on Jones’ injury. Every coach gets a report from the training staff on injuries, often during games. Nobody who knows even a tiny bit about football believes that Belichick doesn’t know how many weeks his quarterback might be out.
Belichick just doesn’t like talking about injuries, and giving the old “no comment” probably got old two decades ago. He doesn’t like his players talking about injuries either, which is why Jones himself said practically nothing this week.
We know from history that high ankle sprains are usually multi-week injuries. But for now, we’ll just take it day by day.