Mac Jones Returns: Patriots QB Reportedly Will Start Against Bears

'Zappe Fever' is over

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October 23

Mac Jones reportedly is an all-go for “Monday Night Football.”

The Patriots quarterback will return from his three-game injury absence to start at quarterback when New England hosts the Chicago Bears, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported Sunday morning, citing a source. Jones has been out since suffering a severe high ankle sprain in the Patriots’ home loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 25.

Of course, the news means that New England head coach Bill Belichick will not stick with rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe, who played well and captured the hearts of Patriots fans during Jones’ absence.

“Barring a setback, Patriots QB Mac Jones is expected to start (Monday) night against the Bears, per source,” Howe tweeted.

Jones was a limited participant in practice throughout the week but showed improved mobility and appeared to be in good sports. He officially was listed as questionable on Saturday’s injury report.

Belichick on Wednesday and Friday played coy with reporters when asked about Jones’ status and practice activity. However, the sophomore quarterback reportedly took the majority of first-team reps Saturday, another indication the Patriots expect him to be available against Chicago.

“Patriots QB Mac Jones, hoping to return from a high-ankle sprain, took the bulk of first-team reps on Saturday, the team’s final practice of the week,” NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport tweeted Sunday morning, citing sources. “That’s a sign that he’s on track to return vs. the Bears.”

The Patriots and Bears will kick off from Gillette Stadium at 8:15 p.m. ET.

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