By Staff

FOXBORO (CBS) — The Patriots need to put Mac Jones in a bubble. New England has placed backup quarterback Brian Hoyer on the Reserve/COVID list on Tuesday, as first reported by ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss.

In addition to Hoyer, linebacker Josh Uche and special teamer Brandon King were also placed on the Reserve/COVID list on Tuesday. They are the third, fourth and fifth Patriots players to land on the list this week, after linebacker Matthew Judon and Ja’Whaun Bentley were added on Monday.

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Last week, the Patriots placed four players on the Reserve/COVID list on Monday, including receiver Kendrick Bourne, who was cleared to play in Sunday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills on Saturday.

With Jones winning the starting job over Cam Newton ahead of the season, Hoyer has been called upon to take just 28 snaps for New England this season. The veteran has completed six of his seven passes for 164 yards and a touchdown in his four appearances 2021.

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There is a chance that Hoyer could return in time for Sunday’s game against Jacksonville, especially with the NFL adopting new guidelines on Tuesday. But if he is not cleared to back Jones up ahead of Week 17, third-stringer Jarrett Stidham would get the honor. Both Jones and Stidham “have continued with regular preparations for Sunday’s game,” according to Reiss.

The Patriots are looking to snap a two-game skid against the 2-13 Jaguars on Sunday at Gillette Stadium. Jacksonville is dealing with a pretty big COVID-19 outbreak of its own, placing three more players on the Reserve/COVID list on Tuesday after placing 11 players on the list on Monday.

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Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Jaguars game on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins at 11:30am with Patriots GameDay, kickoff is set for 1pm, and after the game stick around for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter! Staff