FOXBORO, Mass. — Jakobi Meyers did not expect Mac Jones to be pulled from Monday night’s New England Patriots game as quickly as he was.
Speaking with reporters after the Patriots’ 33-14 loss to the Chicago Bears at Gillette Stadium, Meyers was asked whether he was surprised to see rookie Bailey Zappe replace Jones at quarterback early in the second quarter.
“Yeah,” New England’s No. 1 receiver replied. “But that’s the NFL for you. It’s a fast-changing business.”
Meyers then offered some eye-opening comments when asked about how he and his fellow skill players adjusted to the midgame QB change.
“Not even as a football player, it’s tough as a man to see somebody who worked so hard get that kind of treatment,” he said. “But at the end of the day, we’re all trying to feed our families, so we’ve got to go out there and make plays for whoever’s throwing it.”
Meyers later clarified to the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan that he wasn’t referring directly to New England’s coaching staff.
“Not even the coaches, just everybody,” he told Callahan. “The crowd, all of it. It was an ugly situation.”
Jones, who was removed from the game after three series, was booed during his brief return to action, with vocal segments of the Gillette Stadium crowd chanting for Zappe as the Patriots’ offense scuffled early. Jones’ final pass of the game was an ill-advised interception to safety Jaquan Brisker, but head coach Bill Belichick said that mistake did not lead to his benching.
According to Belichick, the Patriots planned to play both Jones and Zappe as the former worked his way back from the high ankle sprain that sidelined him for the previous three games. Belichick also said Jones would have returned to the game at some point during the second half had the score not gotten “out of hand.”
Meyers was not the only Patriots player surprised by the pivot to Zappe, but Jones said he expected it and had “no hard feelings.”
“I think Coach Belichick obviously did a really, really good job explaining it to me,” said Jones, who completed 3 of 6 passes for 13 yards and rushed for 24 yards on three scrambles. “I knew what the plan was, and the timing is the timing, but we were on the same page.”