New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) drops back to pass in the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023. ( AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
The Patriots are planning to start quarterback Mac Jones against the Giants, a source told the Herald.
Jones split initial reps with backup Bailey Zappe in practice this week. Both quarterbacks told reporters they didn’t know who would start this weekend’s kickoff in New York. Jones was benched in the final minutes of the Patriots’ final game, a 10-6 loss to the Colts that Zappe capped with an interception on the team’s final drive.
Jones has been benched three times in 10 games. He said Wednesday that he planned to start, as he has done every game this season.
“I hope so,” Jones said. “That’s the plan, I think.”
He later added: “I always work very hard for that. I really paid close attention to the details of the week as I mentioned. A lot of that decision making is stuff I can’t control, but I can control my attitude and my effort like I said. Overall, I’m very grateful to be in the NFL and play quarterback on Thanksgiving, right? It’s a great week to be grateful for many things. “To play this game together, the game we love, I think it means a lot to me, regardless of the situation.”
This year, Jones has completed 65.4% of his passes for 2,031 yards, 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Zappe has struggled in mop-up duty, going 10 of 25 for 104 yards and one interception in three relief appearances. When asked Friday if he would benefit from a full week of starting reps, Zappe shrugged.
“I mean, who knows? Whenever I get the opportunity, those opportunities, I have to go in and do my job,” she said. “I haven’t done my best, so when the next opportunity comes, whenever it is (this week, next week, whenever) I’m going to make sure I take advantage of that opportunity and just try to go out there and play.” help the team win.”
Bill Belichick deflected all quarterback-related questions this week, saying he has told all players to “be ready to play.”
Amid the uncertainty, undrafted rookie quarterback/receiver Malik Cunningham told the Herald’s Doug Kyed that he hasn’t taken a snap under center since the team’s Week 6 loss in Las Vegas, when he was the only Backup quarterback available. Offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien also revealed Monday that third-string quarterback Will Grier took some early reps in practice last week before the team’s bye. Grier hasn’t seen one since and was suspended Saturday morning.
The Patriots and Giants will kick off Sunday at 1 pm at MetLife Stadium.