The Patriots reportedly already have a starting quarterback in mind for Sunday
Last week, it wasn’t until late Saturday night that there was any inkling of the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback plans. This week, ahead of their Week 13 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers, the reports are coming much sooner.
On Wednesday afternoon, Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald reported that Bailey Zappe took the majority of the starting reps in practice. Mark Daniels of MassLive confirmed that report, adding that Mac Jones ran the scout team. This comes after a week where the two reportedly split starting reps.
Apparently, the Patriots’ coaching staff liked what they saw during that practice. Late Wednesday night, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported that the Patriots “are preparing QB Bailey Zappe to start Sunday against the Chargers,” adding that “it should be his job this week if all goes as expected.”
On Wednesday morning prior to the first practice of the week, head coach Bill Belichick was asked what Zappe would have to do to earn a start. “Every player, whatever opportunities they have, need to do the best with them that they can,” he said. “Practice, games, even in meetings and other preparation opportunities. So, that’s what a player can do – be prepared, do the best he can.”
Now it looks like Zappe is doing that as the Patriots get ready to face the Chargers on Sunday. This would be Zappe’s first start of the season. In four appearances in relief he’s completed 48.7 percent of his passes for 158 yards, with no touchdowns and two interceptions.
All four of those appearances have come after Jones has been benched, which happened last week for the second week in a row. That quarterback switch was made at halftime, after Jones went 12-of-21 for 89 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Zappe finished the game going 9-of-14 (a season high in attempts) for 54 yards with a pick.