Bailey Zappe, not Mac Jones, reportedly will start Sunday when the New England Patriots host the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 13 at Gillette Stadium.

Maybe that’s a good thing for Jones based on how disastrous the 2023 season has been for the third-year quarterback.

Not only is Jones underperforming between the lines, prompting Bill Belichick to bench him on several occasions. The struggles also might be wearing on Jones from a psychological standpoint.

Boston Sports Journal’s Mike Giardi reported Thursday that he spoke with two team sources about Jones.

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One referred to Jones as “emotionally and mentally beat up,” noting the QB “poured everything into it, so to get this little out of it is exhausting.”

The other source, according to Giardi, also used the phrase “beat up” and added Jones has been “pressing.”

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It’s been a tumultuous season for the 25-year-old signal-caller, who’s now regressed in back-to-back years after an impressive rookie campaign in 2021. He hasn’t exactly been put in position to succeed, even with the return of offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, but Jones has showed very little to suggest he’s capable of being New England’s franchise quarterback.

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The problem for the Patriots, of course, is that Zappe hasn’t been much better in limited action. And overall, New England simply doesn’t have the talent, which is evident from the team’s 2-9 start to the season.

There’s still a chance Jones, the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, develops into a viable starting quarterback, capable of stringing together wins in the right situation. It’s growing increasingly unlikely, however, that such a turnaround is possible in Foxboro.

Simply put, Jones looks (and maybe even feels) broken right now.

Featured image via Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA TODAY Sports Images