Patriots Rumors: QB Plan Revealed With Mac Jones Nearing Return

So long, Zappe Fever


Oct 20, 2022

A report Thursday indicated Mac Jones believes he’ll be ready for this week’s matchup between the New England Patriots and Chicago Bears.

If he is, he’ll reportedly be back in the starting lineup.

Shortly after ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported Jones, who’s missed the last three games with a high ankle sprain, “expects to be available” Monday night against Chicago, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reported he will be the starter once he’s “healthy enough to return to play.”

“There is no QB controversy in New England,” Howe tweeted.

Fourth-round rookie Bailey Zappe has performed well in Jones’ absence, becoming the first rookie QB in the Super Bowl era to win his first two NFL starts and post a passer rating of 100-plus in both. Head coach Bill Belichick has sidestepped multiple questions about whether Jones would instantly reclaim his starting job once his injury heals, declining to reveal the team’s quarterback plans.

“We’ll see how that process is,” Belichick said Monday. “Mac still wasn’t able to play (Sunday). So we’ll continue to evaluate him and see how he’s doing physically.”

Jones traveled with the team to Cleveland last weekend and was on the sideline for the Patriots’ 38-15 win over the Browns, during which Zappe threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Zappe’s impressive play has prompted some to call for him to permanently replace Jones, but the Patriots evidently are sticking with their preferred starter. Jones struggled with turnovers early this season but led New England to 10 wins and a playoff berth as a rookie and made the Pro Bowl as an alternate.

The Patriots’ first practice of Week 7 is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Thumbnail photo via Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports Images
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