The Patriots might need a quarterback. Here are a few alternatives to Mac Jones.

Is Brian Hoyer the guy? Would a Cam Newton reunion be worth it? Here's a look at what the Patriots can do.

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Cam Newton was effervescent and enthusiastic, but that wasn't enough to keep his job as Patriots quarterback.

Mac Jones is hurt, and it’s not clear exactly how long he’ll be out.

The second-year signal caller will likely miss “multiple games,” according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Whether that ends up being a few weeks or a few months hasn’t been determined yet.

Either way, the Patriots will have to find another option for now, as Jones recovers from a high-ankle sprain.

Jones said Monday that he’s taking his recovery day-by-day and focused on getting treatment so he can return.

But, in the meantime, here is a rundown of the Patriots’ options, including notable free agents, practice squad players, and sticking with who they already have.

Staying the course

The most likely choice is Brian Hoyer, a 14-year NFL veteran who is on his third stint with the Patriots.


Hoyer has a lot of experience in New England’s offense, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday.

But, Hoyer has lost his last 11 starts, which is the longest losing streak among active NFL quarterbacks. He hasn’t won a game as a starter since 2016.

There’s also Bailey Zappe, a rookie who played one year of FBS football at Western Kentucky before being selected in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Zappe played more snaps that any other Patriots quarterback during the preseason. He went 45-71 for 462 yards and a touchdown against four interceptions in three preseason games.

The Patriots carried the same three quarterbacks, Jones, Hoyer, and Zappe on their 90-man roster during the summer.

Notable free agents

Cam Newton

The former MVP started 15 games for the Patriots in 2020. While he eventually lost his starting spot to Jones, Newton has experience playing within New England’s system. He knows what the expectations are, and he might have enough left in the tank to execute.

Colin Kaepernick

It’s been six years since Kaepernick last played in an NFL football game, which makes this a total long shot. But, he has led a team to the Super Bowl in the past. And the reason he hasn’t played is more about his protest than his performance.


Mike Glennon

The 6-foot-7, 225-pound Glennon has started 31 NFL games, including four last year for the New York Giants. He’s thrown for 47 touchdowns against 35 interceptions during his nine-year career.

AJ McCarron

McCarron was the first quarterback to win back-to-back BCS national championships while he was in college. He hasn’t made an NFL start since 2019 or played in a game since 2020.

Picking from the practice squad

The Patriots could also opt to sign a player from another team’s practice squad.

Teams are allowed to protect four practice squad players per week according to NFL rules.

Any unprotected player can be signed to a 53-man roster at any time.

Much like how the Commanders signed quarterback Garrett Gilbert from the Patriots’ practice squad last year, New England could sign a quarterback they have their eye on if he becomes unprotected.


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