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Bailey Zappe mum on Pats’ starting QB gig, appreciates ‘crazy’ journey

Nov 26, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe (4) throws the ball during the second half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Bailey Zappe said the matter of whether he was the New England Patriots’ new starting quarterback was “a Coach Belichick question,” but the second-year pro did not shy away from the spotlight when speaking with reporters Thursday in Foxborough, Mass.

“Nothing’s set in stone. I’m just taking it day by day, treating every rep that I get in practice like it’s a game rep and just preparing like I do every other week,” Zappe said.

Bill Belichick has not said anything definitive ahead of Sunday’s game against the visiting Los Angeles Chargers. That is similar to last week, when the starting quarterback job was up in the air before the Patriots faced the New York Giants.

Mac Jones started against New York and threw two interceptions before halftime before he was benched in favor of Zappe. In relief, Zappe completed 9 of 14 passes for 54 yards and an interception in a 10-7 loss.

Zappe took the majority of reps that reporters were allowed to see at Wednesday’s practice. He was followed by undrafted rookie Malik Cunningham, while Jones did not take any reps.

Zappe, 24, was a 2022 fourth-round draft pick of the Patriots and appeared in four games as a rookie, making two starts while Jones was injured. He was a surprising cut at the end of training camp and joined New England’s practice squad after going unclaimed on waivers.

“It’s been crazy,” Zappe said with a smile. “Been a lot of talks with both (team captain Matthew) Slater and Coach and everything, but I mean it’s part of the journey. It’s part, I guess everybody says part of your book, part of your chapter, whatever you want to say. But I mean, it’s been fun. It’s been a lot of learning, so I’m excited.”

–Field Level Media