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  • Writer's pictureMike Buck

Quarterback Uncertainty: New England Patriots

As the New England Patriots prepare for their upcoming game against the Los Angeles Chargers, uncertainty looms over the starting quarterback position. Head coach Bill Belichick declined to name a starting quarterback for Sunday's game, but observations from Wednesday's practice suggest that backup Bailey Zappe might be the top option. During the portion of practice open to reporters, Zappe took multiple repetitions in full pads, indicating a potential shift in the quarterback hierarchy. He was followed by undrafted rookie Malik Cunningham, who is currently on the practice squad. Meanwhile, starter Mac Jones did not take any throws during the time that reporters were present, and practice squad quarterback Will Grier also did not participate in the practice.

"I'm not going to make any announcements on our lineup at any position," Belichick stated earlier in the day. "See how practice goes, see if everybody is ready to go, see what the injury situation is, and we'll go with what we think is best Sunday."

This development comes in the wake of Jones undergoing X-rays after a recent game, following a significant number of hits sustained during play. Although he has not appeared on the injury report this season, the X-rays were conducted on his right shoulder/arm. Jones has been pulled from four games this season, including being replaced at halftime of Sunday's 10-

7 loss to the New York Giants after throwing two interceptions and experiencing a fumble recovered by a teammate.

The Patriots' challenging season, marked by a 2-9 record, has placed a spotlight on Jones and the team's offensive struggles. Despite acknowledging his own shortcomings, Jones has been supported by offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, who emphasized the quarterback's work ethic and dedication to the game.

As the team navigates this uncertain quarterback situation, Zappe, a 2022 fourth-round draft choice from Western Kentucky, has emerged as a potential candidate to lead the offense. While Zappe's professional experience is limited, his performance in practice has raised speculation about his potential role in the upcoming game.

With the quarterback position under scrutiny, the Patriots face crucial decisions as they seek to address their offensive challenges and strive for a positive outcome in their upcoming matchup. As the team's preparation continues, the coaching staff and players will work to ensure that the best decision is made for the team's success on Sunday.


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