Patriots Rumors: How Bailey Zappe Challenges Mac Jones At Practice

Jones reportedly will start Monday night


Oct 24, 2022

The presence of Jimmy Garoppolo in the mid-2010s benefited the Patriots in two ways: It gave them a legitimately good backup quarterback and helped push Tom Brady to raise his game to an even higher level.

History might be repeating itself in New England.

Nobody will confuse Mac Jones for Brady or Bailey Zappe for Garoppolo — at least not yet. And the situation in 2016, when Garoppolo started two games while Brady was suspended, is not perfectly analogous to the one in which the Patriots currently find themselves.

However, it sounds like Jones and Zappe both have been motivated by the events of the last few weeks when the former watched his rookie backup excel while capturing the hearts of Patriots fans.

Check out this nugget from a notes column published Sunday morning by ESPN’s Mike Reiss:

“By the end of the week, one player said it was a battle to see which quarterback — Jones or Zappe — would be the last off the field after practice,” Reiss wrote. “They’re pushing each other, and the result is that the Patriots have further solidified the most important position on the field.”

Jones was a limited participant throughout practice last week and will carry a “questionable” designation into Monday night’s game against the Chicago Bears. But all reporting indicates the sophomore quarterback will return from his three-game absence and get the start at Gillette Stadium.

We’ll find out one way or another when the Patriots release their inactive list 90 minutes before kickoff, which is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Bob Breidenbach/The Providence Journal/USA TODAY Sports Images
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