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Reports: Patriots to start Bailey Zappe, bench Mac Jones

Sep 17, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) and quarterback Bailey Zappe (4) talk with offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien in the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

All signs point to Bailey Zappe replacing Mac Jones as the starting quarterback for the Patriots on Sunday.

Zappe and Malik Cunningham were the only quarterbacks to throw passes with the first-team skill position players on Wednesday with Jones on scout team duty.

New England (2-9) lost its last four games. Jones has 12 interceptions and 10 touchdowns in 2023. He’s 29th in the NFL with a 77.0 passer rating.

After practice on Wednesday, Zappe said he would have more to say on Thursday when he, and not Jones, would be at the podium spot New England reserves for its starting quarterback dating to the Tom Brady glory days.

Zappe made two starts last season, leading New England to wins in both games.

The Athletic reported late Wednesday that Zappe and others were informed he’ll be the starter against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

Jones was benched in-game for the fourth time this season last week against the New York Giants, with Zappe entering the game following two Jones interceptions.

Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster offered a brief appraisal of Zappe’s practice session on Wednesday.

“He looked good. Making throws. Moving the chains,” Smith-Schuster said.

–Field Level Media

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