Bill Belichick won’t commit to starting Mac Jones over Bailey Zappe

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New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick still isn’t declaring that a healthy Mac Jones will start at quarterback over rookie Bailey Zappe. 

“We’ll see how that process is,” Belichick said Monday about Jones potentially reclaiming his spot atop the depth chart when he’s medically cleared to return, according to Zack Cox of NESN. “Mac still wasn’t able to play (Sunday). So we’ll continue to evaluate him and see how he’s doing physically.” 

Jones has remained sidelined since he suffered a reported high-ankle sprain in Week 3, while Zappe replaced injured backup Brian Hoyer on Oct. 2. As a starter, Zappe has guided New England to back-to-back victories, most recently a 38-15 blowout win at the Cleveland Browns on Sunday that improved the Patriots to 3-3. 

ESPN stats show that Zappe has completed 51-of-70 total passes (72.9%) for 596 yards with four touchdowns and one interception on the campaign. The 23-year-old would be leading the entire NFL with a 111.4 passer rating if he was among eligible signal-callers, but his 34.8 total QBR would only be good for 26th overall. 

Ahead of this past weekend, Belichick told reporters that Jones could be cleared “at any time” but didn’t guarantee that the No. 15 pick from the 2021 NFL Draft will be his QB1 when he’s able to dress for a game. It appears that will continue to be the case as Belichick and company prepare to host the 2-4 Chicago Bears in a “Monday Night Football” showdown on Oct. 24.

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