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Mac Jones takes the first reps at Patriots practice, but Brian Hoyer is absent

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When he was able to step into his throws during warmups at a walkthrough practice in the Patriots field house, FOXBOROUGH

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-- Mac Jones took a step toward returning Wednesday.

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Jones, recovering from a high ankle sprain, 

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took the first reps ahead of rookie Bailey Zappe and newcomer Garrett Gilbert during the window when reporters were allowed to watch.    

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Brian Hoyer, who suffered a concussion in last Sunday's game, was not at practice as 

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he makes his way through the NFL's protocols. Coach Bill Belichick said Jones was "making progress" 

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in his rehab but didn't elaborate on a timeline for a return by him or Hoyer.   

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The status of the quarterbacks will become more clear when the club issues its participation report at 4 p.m. 

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Zappe, the third-stringer, stepped in against the Packers this past Sunday after Hoyer sustained a head injury in the first quarter.