The New England Patriots quarterback dealt with back spasms following a loss to the Miami Dolphins.
On its own merits, New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones’ injury itself doesn’t actually seem to be that bad.
The second-year quarterback was spotted walking gingerly towards the X-Ray room at Hard Rock Stadium following the team’s week one loss to the Miami Dolphins. Fortunately, the X-Ray came back negative for any major issues. Reports now point to back spasms as the main culprit in Jones’ post-game limp.
Back spasms are among the most common injuries across sports in general. They involve involuntary muscle contractions (tightening) and can be due to a variety of factors, including overuse, dehydration, and drained electrolytes. Basically, they’re back cramps.
So to put this as simply as possible, Jones had cramps after a hot game down in Miami. As Ian Rapoport put it, this is a “best case scenario.”
The most significant cause for worry with Jones’ injury comes from his back spasms most likely being due to overuse. In his first game of the season, Jones passed 30 times (not a crazy high amount). However, a good chunk (14, by my count) of these were past the line of scrimmage and to the sidelines while under duress — this usually meant that Jones was fading while delivering throws that required more power. Because of this, Jones may have been forced to rotate more explosively with his core, leading to the fatigue-based injury.
Of course, this isn’t really Jones’ fault at all. The Patriots offensive line was horrendous in pass protection. This brings me to the most worrying part of Jones’ injury. With the New England offensive line struggling with communication throughout training camp and preseason, their woes continued into week one. Seven of Miami’s points came as a direct result of this inefficacy. With Jones constantly having to go to the sidelines, the offense felt hard-pressed to find any yardage at all.
Jones is a pocket passer. To a great extent, this is because of necessity and not choice. The offensive line absolutely has to give Jones a clean pocket for the offense to have any kind of success this season. The alternative doesn’t just include offensive failure through the season; there’s a good chance it could mean cascading injuries for the team’s franchise quarterback.