Belichick says Jones to remain Pats' starter at QB vs. Jets

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) stands on the sidelines on an offensive drive during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Monday, Oct. 24, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) (Michael Dwyer, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Bill Belichick wanted to see how Mac Jones began the practice week before making a decision about who would play quarterback for the Patriots this week.

On Thursday, he said he’d seen enough to make that call, saying Jones will be the Sunday’s starter against the Jets.

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“That’s the decision, so that’s where we are now,” Belichick said. “I talked to all the quarterbacks. So everybody knows where we’re at.”

Belichick said Jones, who was not listed on the injury report after three straight weeks of dealing with a sprained ankle, had a full workload on Wednesday and is expected to be unrestricted when New England (3-4) heads to New Jersey for Sunday’s matchup with surging Jets (5-2).

Getting Jones a full dose of starter reps is pertinent for his preparation, the coach said.

“He’s ready to do that," Belichick said. "So that’s what he needs to prepare for the game, and that’s what our offensive unit needs. Everybody working together. So we’ll get that this week.”

Jones is looking to recover from a rough outing in last week's 33-14 loss to Chicago. Jones started the game, but lasted only three series and threw an interception before being pulled in favor of Bailey Zappe, who played the rest of the way.

Afterward, Belichick was insistent that the plan was always to play both quarterbacks, adding that the health of Jones' ankle was a factor in him not returning to the game.

Jones, who is no longer wearing a brace on his left leg, said Wednesday that he felt he deserved to remain the starter.

“I feel pretty good. Just trying to get my treatment and I’ve done a good job with that,” Jones said of his ankle. “Just like everybody else I’m just sticking to my routine and trying to get back into that and become a better football player. ... We have a plan. And for me right now that’s to become a better quarterback individually and a better player. And I’m doing everything I can to do that. I just want to prove that everyday and that’s what I’m going to do.”


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