Bill Belichick on Monday refused to name a starting quarterback for Thursday’s game in Pittsburgh. But his handling of Patriots media availabilities probably tells us all we need to know.

Belichick scheduled Bailey Zappe to appear on Monday’s episode of WEEI’s “Jones & Mego” show, which typically hosts New England’s projected starting quarterback each week. Mac Jones was the show’s guest for each prior week of the season, including after his disastrous performance in Germany.

No Matchup Found

Click here to enter a different Sportradar ID.

However, Jones also appeared on the show last Monday despite Belichick’s plans to make Zappe the starter for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers. So, Belichick might view the weekly segment as a spot for the previous game’s starting quarterback, rather than for whoever will start the next contest.

Story continues below advertisement

Still, it’s far more likely that Zappe’s interview on “Jones & Mego” is the first sign that he’ll start Thursday night against the Steelers.

That would be the right decision by Belichick. Zappe wasn’t great in Sunday’s home shutout loss to the Chargers, but he didn’t do anything to lose the job.

The sophomore quarterback struggled in the first half and, if he were playing for any other team, probably would’ve been benched. But Zappe rebounded in the second half and gave the Patriots a chance to win. It wasn’t his fault that New England’s pass protection broke down and Tyquan Thornton committed another costly drop.

Story continues below advertisement

The Patriots will return to the practice field Tuesday. Thursday’s game against the Steelers is scheduled to kick off at 8:15 p.m. ET, with backup Mitch Trubisky in line to start for Pittsburgh.

Featured image via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images