Mac Jones races Matt Patricia in return to Patriots practice after back injury

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Watch: Mac Jones looks spry, races Matt Patricia at Patriots practice originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Those concerned about Mac Jones' health should be encouraged by footage from the New England Patriots' practice Wednesday.

Jones, who suffered a back injury in Sunday's loss to the Miami Dolphins, appeared to be moving without restriction during Wednesday's session outside Gillette Stadium. In fact, the second-year quarterback was seen briefly racing senior football advisor/offensive line coach/play-caller Matt Patricia while breaking out into a brisk jog.

Our Phil Perry also observed that Jones bent over and twisted without issue during team stretches.

Jones visited the X-ray room at Hard Rock Stadium after Sunday's game to undergo testing on his back. The X-rays came back negative, however, and Jones sounded optimistic Monday that he'd be able to suit up against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2.

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

NFL Network's Mike Giardi reported Tuesday that Jones "continues to improve" from his back injury and is doing "everything he needs to" to play Sunday in Pittsburgh, so the fact that Jones is back at practice Wednesday is a great sign for New England.

If Jones has a setback and can't play, 36-year-old veteran Brian Hoyer and rookie Bailey Zappe are next on the depth chart. Considering the Patriots mustered just seven points on 271 yards of total offense in Week 1, they had better hope Jones is ready to go Sunday.