Patriots’ Mac Jones to start at QB against Jets


New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones took approximately 90% of the first-team reps at practice Wednesday and will start Sunday against the New York Jets, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick pulled Jones after three series in Monday’s blowout loss to Chicago, inserting rookie Bailey Zappe in his place for the rest of the game.

Belichick, who insisted Jones wasn’t benched and would have returned to the game in the second half if the score had been closer, hasn’t said this week who would be starting for the Patriots.

“I plan to start every game that I’ve ever played in, Whether that was in pee-wee football or third string at Alabama,” Jones said when told about ESPN’s report that he’d be starting against the Jets.

“I always try to prepare as a starter. Like I always say, if it’s one snap or 70 I’ll be ready to go and that’s all you can do. You can’t really control anything else. I work really hard and put myself in position to do that and, yes, I think I deserve that.”

Belichick said the team intended to play both Jones and Zappe in Monday’s game against the Bears — and informed both players of the plan leading into the game. He said Jones’ recovery from a left high ankle sprain — he was playing for the first time since Sept. 25 — was “a factor” in the decision.

Jones is not listed on the Patriots’ injury report this week.

“I feel pretty good. Just trying to get my treatment and I’ve done a good job with that,” Jones said of his ankle. “Just like everybody else I’m just sticking to my routine and trying to get back into that and become a better football player. … We have a plan. And for me right now that’s to become a better quarterback individually and a better player. And I’m doing everything I can to do that. I just want to prove that everyday and that’s what I’m going to do.”

ESPN’s Mike Reiss contributed to this report.



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