The Patriots sound ready to put an end to their quarterback controversy
October 20th, 2022
Jul 29, 2022; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) talks with quarterback Bailey Zappe (55) during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
A pair of new reports have shed more light on the Patriots’ quarterback situation, particularly Mac Jones and his return.
ESPN’s Mike Reiss first reported Thursday that Jones is “expected to be available” for Monday night’s game against the Chicago Bears. The game will mark just over four weeks since Jones suffered a high-ankle sprain in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Reiss added that Jones has “a final hurdle to be cleared in practice.” It’s unclear what, exactly, that hurdle is. But it’s an implication that if and when Jones is deemed available to play, he will play.
Jeff Howe of The Athletic added further context to the situation later Thursday morning – by basically putting an end to the whole Mac Jones-Bailey Zappe debate.
“There is no QB controversy in New England. When Mac Jones is healthy enough to return to play, he’ll be the starter, per sources,” Howe said via Twitter.
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Neither of these reports, however, say that Jones is expected to play. He’s expected to “be available,” and will only start once he’s “healthy enough to return to play.” Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focusreported earlier this week that Jones is at about 85-90 percent. There’s no real right or wrong answer as to whether that constitutes “healthy enough to play,” but if Jones is cleared to play, then the pressure is on him to get right back on the field.
The Patriots are an eight-point favorite over the Bears at the DraftKings Sportsbook. Realistically, they should be able to prevent enough points from Justin Fields and the Bears offense to outscore them with either quarterback. So the pressure is also on Jones to play well on Monday night, if he’s out there.
If Jones doesn’t play well? You can most certainly expect the #QBControversy to be on. Even if it’s just in the media. But Jones can put that to rest by playing his best game of the season next Monday.
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.