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Patriots yet to declare QB Mac Jones out vs. Browns

CLEVELAND -- The New England Patriots are keeping hopes alive that injured quarterback Mac Jones could play in Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns.

The team declared Saturday afternoon that two injured players would be out for the game -- starting cornerback Jonathan Jones and No. 3 receiver Nelson Agholor -- but it was notable that Jones wasn't part of the club's announcement.

NFL teams are required, by league rule, to declare injured players who don't travel for road games as out.

Jones, who suffered a left high ankle sprain on Sept. 25, has been limited in practices this week. The club listed him as questionable on Friday, which the team defines as "uncertain that the player will play."

"Mac is making good improvement," coach Bill Belichick said Friday before practice.

"If it's better on Saturday than it was Friday, then maybe it's a game-day workout. If it's worse, then we would probably downgrade the player. If it feels great [Friday and Saturday], then we're good to go. That's why Saturday is an important day in this whole process."

Rookie Bailey Zappe would start if Jones doesn't play Sunday when the Patriots (2-3) visit the Browns (2-3). The Patriots also have veteran Garrett Gilbert on the practice squad and can elevate him for the game for depth.

Injured running back Damien Harris (hamstring) also hasn't been ruled out.