Patriots News: Mac Jones, Matthew Judon, Kenny Pickett and Rhamondre Stevenson

  • Bill Belichick won't talk about Mac Jones
  • Could Matthew Judon return during the final 5 games of the season?
  • Update on Rhamondre Stevenson's injury

Los Angeles Chargers v New England Patriots
Los Angeles Chargers v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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Kenny Pickett will miss Thursday Night's matchup vs. the Patriots

Within a season filled with unfortunate injuries, particularly to quarterbacks, the Steelers were the latest team added to the list when Kenny Pickett left Sunday's game against the Cardinals with an ankle injury.

Patriots fans were paying very close attention to this ordinarily unimportant matchup for two reasons: One, because the Cardinals were seated ahead of them in the first round of next year's draft, meaning a win would push the Patriots ahead of them in the draft order, and two, because they visit Pittsburgh for Thursday Night Football this week.

The Cardinals' win provided New England the only silver lining to an otherwise embarrassing 6-0 loss to the Chargers, moving them into the second overall pick of the draft. But the latest update about Pickett has prompted quite a negative response for the teams' impending matchup on a short week since it appears we will have to watch a Mitchell Trubisky-led offense vs. a Bailey Zappe-led offense in Week 14.

Among the several insiders reporting on the matter, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport revealed the quarterback underwent a surgical procedure on Monday morning, and the Steelers have already ruled him out for Thursday's contest.

This could be significant news for the Patriots defense, who have already played lights out over the last three weeks, but it doesn't provide much optimism for the offense when Pittsburgh has a guy like T.J. Watt, who needs handling.

But another New England loss pushes them closer to maintaining a top-2 pick, if not eventually holding the prized first-overall selection by season's end. So maybe it wouldn't be so bad if they lose this one?