For the second week in a row, the New England Patriots are playing things close to the chest when it comes to their starting quarterback for this Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Bill Belichick has declined to name a starter when asked by the media and his players have followed suit. The closest indication the team has given was letting reporters see Bailey Zappe take the heavy majority of the reps during a brief window of Wednesday’s practice, while Mac Jones didn’t throw a single pass in the session.
Away from the cameras though, it’s been a different story. Throughout the week, sources have painted a picture about what the plan is behind closed doors for this Sunday.
On Wednesday night, the first reports came through. Doug Kyed of The Boston Herald noted that Zappe ‘took the majority’ of the starting reps in practice, and Mark Daniels of MassLive added that Jones ran the scout team. Jeff Howe of The Athletic later reported outright that the Patriots plan on starting Zappe on Sunday “if all goes as expected.”
UPDATE: Howe has since reported that Zappe will in fact start on Sunday
That plan appears to have held through to Friday. According to Andrew Callahan of The Boston Herald Zappe ran the two-minute drill at Friday’s practice. That practice period – and situational football as a whole – is typically the focus of Friday practices. If those reps went to Zappe, it’s another strong sign the team plans on having him start. That would make sense, as Jones’ play has continued to spiral downward as the season has gone on.