Mac Jones is about to try to put an end to ‘Zappe Fevah’
October 12th, 2022
Jul 29, 2022; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) walks onto the field before training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
It’s possible that the only real antidote for “Zappe Fevah” is a healthy Mac Jones.
At least, a Mac Jones who is healthy enough to play. But according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano, he’s graduated to having a “decent” chance to play, as the Patriots get ready for a Week 6 road matchup against the Cleveland Browns. This Sunday will mark three weeks since Jones suffered a high-ankle sprain late in a home loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Here’s what ESPN is reporting:
Mac Jones is improving his chances to play this week against Cleveland. One source classified his chances as “decent” but much depends on how the week of practice goes, and doctors will likely be involved in the decision. I’m told Jones has progressed each week and even made last week’s decision to go with Bailey Zappe interesting. Jones is dealing with a high ankle sprain but appears to have avoided long-term issues or the need for immediate surgery. If Jones is healthy, I expect him to be the quarterback, even though the Zappe Hour is a great story that might not last long.
This report comes as “Zappe Fevah” grips New England, after the Patriots earned their second win of the season in a 29-0 shutout of the Lions with rookie Bailey Zappe starting at quarterback. The Pats rode a coaching mismatch to victory, and Zappe did a good job just by protecting the ball and not getting in the way. So far, Zappe’s two turnovers – a strip-sack against the Packers and an interception against the Lions – were more the fault of Isaiah Wynn and Nelson Agholor.
When active, Jones hasn’t done a great job of protecting the ball in his own right, with five interceptions in his first three games. But there’s been no indication that he’s in danger of losing the starting QB job just yet. So if he’s healthy enough to return to game action, it wouldn’t be surprising if Bill Belichick went right back to him.
If Zappe plays again in Cleveland, and the Patriots win again, without turning it over, again … perhaps the situation could get more interesting.
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 09: Bailey Zappe #4 of the New England Patriots and David Andrews #60 of the New England Patriots walk off the field after their team’s 29-0 win over the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium on October 09, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
We’ll get a better idea of where Mac’s at in his injury recovery on Wednesday, when the Patriots will open practice to the media for the first time this week and the team will release its first injury report ahead of the Browns game. Belichick is expected to speak to reporters at noon on Wednesday at Gillette Stadium, but it would be surprising if he shed much light on the quarterback situation himself.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.