New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick named Mac Jones his starting quarterback for Sunday’s game at the 5-2 New York Jets.
Just don’t ask Belichick about his plans for the position beyond that matchup.
“It’s hypothetical,” Belichick said during Thursday’s press conference when asked if Jones will remain atop the depth chart over rookie Bailey Zappe beyond the Week 8 clash at MetLife Stadium, per Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk. “Here we are today. We’re practicing for the Jets. It’s Thursday, getting ready for the Jets. Like, that’s where we are. So, anything that happens beyond that, I mean, it’s not current. I’m not going to get into it. That’s as helpful as I can be. I mean, c’mon man.”
Shortly after Belichick refused to name a QB1 on Wednesday, it was reported that Jones “took about 90% of the first-team’s reps in practice” and would get the nod for the 3-4 Patriots against the rival Jets.
“Mac took a full workload yesterday. I expect him to be fully available here for the game and ready to go,” Belichick added about Jones on Thursday.
Jones suffered an ankle injury in Week 3 that kept him out for three consecutive games, and he watched as Zappe, a fourth-round draft selection, guided the Patriots to victories in back-to-back starts. Both Jones and Zappe featured in what became Monday’s disastrous 33-14 home loss to the Chicago Bears that seemingly ended Zappe’s run in the starting lineup as long as the 2021 first-round pick was healthy enough to play ahead of Halloween.
Belichick refusing to commit to Jones past Sunday intentionally or unintentionally suggests the 24-year-old will be competing for his job against Gang Green. Following this weekend’s action, the Patriots will next host the Indianapolis Colts (3-3-1) on Nov. 6 before New England’s bye.