New England Patriots QB Mac Jones feeling better, hopeful to face Pittsburgh Steelers

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones said Monday that additional tests on his back came back fine and that he's hoping to play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"I definitely feel better and I want to be able to be ready to play against Pittsburgh," Jones said. "My back hurt. We were trying to figure out what the issue was. They did all the tests and everything was fine."

A source had told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Jones experienced back spasms after Sunday's season-opening loss to the Miami Dolphins. Sources said Jones felt noticeably better upon his return to Massachusetts on Sunday night, and then Monday morning, compared to immediately after the 20-7 loss in Miami.

Speaking on injuries in general, Belichick said Monday morning: "I know everybody's hungry for an up-to-the-second update, but the best way to handle these situations is always to give a little time, see what happens, run whatever tests or analysis need to be run, and then go from there."

After Sunday's game, in which Jones finished 21-of-30 for 213 yards with one touchdown and one interception, the quarterback was seen walking under his own power to the X-ray room flanked by security personnel.

He spent about five minutes in the room before walking back to the team's locker room. Shortly thereafter, a Patriots media official announced that Jones wouldn't be holding his news conference, adding that he had a back injury.

Jones said Monday he believed the injury occurred on a fourth-quarter play in which Miami was flagged for roughing the passer.

"I just kept playing and tried to work through it," Jones said. "It's football -- you're going to get hit. I've been hit harder before and will probably get hit harder in the future. It's all good."

Jones said of his back: "I haven't had any issues with it before and I don't expect any issues now. Everything is good."

Jones, who is backed up by veteran Brian Hoyer and rookie Bailey Zappe, played the entire game.

He was sacked twice, taking a big hit in the second quarter on a blindside blitz on which he fumbled the ball and the Dolphins returned it for a touchdown. He also absorbed a crushing blow from two Dolphins defenders -- one toward his upper body, one near his legs -- on the fourth-quarter play that drew the roughing the passer penalty.