Bill Belichick: Bailey Zappe’s performance ‘doesn’t have anything to do’ with Mac Jones timetable

After two games without Mac Jones, the Patriots are still waiting on the return of their starting quarterback.

Steven Senne
Bailey Zappe (left) is doing exactly what the Patriots ask of him while Mac Jones (right) rehabs a high ankle sprain.

Bailey Zappe is playing well, and he’s undefeated as an NFL starter.

Mac Jones’s struggles, even before sustaining a high-ankle sprain that caused him to miss a couple games, have been evident.

He’s thrown more than twice as many interceptions as touchdowns and had the Patriots off to a 1-2 start.

Patriots head coach Belichick told reporters Wednesday that Zappe’s performance on Sunday against the Lions won’t affect his timetable for bringing Jones back.

“Totally independent, doesn’t have anything to do with it,” said Belichick.

But, Belichick didn’t say whether Jones will be the starter when he returns.

“We’ll see where he is, I don’t know,” said Belichick.


Belichick said earlier this week on WEEI’s Greg Hill show that he isn’t going to get into hypotheticals on the situation.

“That to me, is a waste of time. I”m not going to sit here and dream up scenarios and all of that. We’ll take things as they come and go from there.”

The comments come after back-to-back weeks of improvement from the Patriots under Zappe. The rookie helped New England take Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers to overtime in a close loss at Green Bay his first time out.

Last week, Zappe went 17-21 for 188 yards and a touchdown in New England’s 29-0 shutout win over Detroit.

While his first few games haven’t been pretty, Jones made the Pro Bowl and led the Patriots to the playoffs last year. He’s since been named a team captain. He was only three games in before he got hurt, which is a relatively small sample-size.

With three different quarterbacks taking snaps so far this season, Belichick said he’d like to see more continuity at the position.

He didn’t say whether that would be with Zappe or Jones.

There are still multiple factors to consider as the Patriots approach a stretch of very winnable games and navigate Jones’s return.


“Obviously we’ve had some changes at the quarterback position over the last five weeks,” said Belichick. “Three different players playing that position. We’ll find more continuity there, hopefully and see what happens. That’s something we have to work through, but every team deals with something. It is what it is.”


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