Reports from the past few days suggest that Mac Jones will not only return from his high ankle injury on Monday night, but he will also start at quarterback against the Bears.
If you ask Patriots coach Bill Belichick, he won’t share the team’s plan at quarterback for the Week 7 game. He wouldn’t say if a decision was made at quarterback when he was asked on Friday.
“We just take it day to day,” Belichick said with a smile.
The day-to-day approach is what Belichick took most of the time, Jones was out with the injury he suffered late in the Patriots’ Week 3 loss to the Ravens.
After not training the first week after the injury, Jones trained in each of the next two weeks, although he was restricted and did not play in the games that followed. .
Jones looked the best he has been during the media availability portion of practice Thursday since suffering the injury, appearing to be more mobile than the previous two weeks.
Belichick said he was encouraged by Jones’ improved appearance on the training ground.
“It’s good to have all the players there, who are there,” Belichick said. “Some do more than others. We’ll see how it goes.
Belichick also shared that Jones seemed to be looking better than last week while noting the different schedule the team is working on in Week 7 due to the game being played on Monday.
“Yesterday was a Wednesday, in my world,” Belichick said with a smile. “He did more yesterday than the previous Wednesday. Yeah, that would be right. Yeah. Today is actually Thursday.
As Jones’ health appears to be improving, there have been discussions about whether he should return to his role as starting quarterback for the Patriots upon his return. Fourth-round rookie Bailey Zappe performed well in Jones’ absence.
After giving New England a firm hand when he replaced Brian Hoyer in their Week 4 overtime loss to Green Bay, Zappe earned his first two career NFL starts. In three games, Zappe completed 72.9% of his passes for 596 yards, four touchdowns and one interception with a passer rating of 111.4, the best of any quarterback who threw at least 70 passes this season.
While he won’t say who will start at quarterback on Monday, Belichick said he was “pretty happy” to have the extra time to prepare for the Bears 2-4.
“[The Bears are] a team that we don’t know very well, but are getting to know well,” Belichick said. “It was helpful. We’ll see how it goes here today and keep on chaining them, get ready for Monday night.
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