With Mac Jones struggling, Bailey Zappe starts at QB for Patriots against Chargers

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New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe (4), followed by quarterback Mac Jones (10) walks onto the field prior to an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Bailey Zappe started his first game of the season for New England on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers, taking over for the benched Mac Jones.

Rookie Malik Cunningham was promoted from the practice squad and active for the game — the first time the Patriots have dressed three quarterbacks.

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Jones has been pulled from four games this season — including the past two, when Zappe relieved him. In mop-up duty this season, Zappe has completed 48.7% of his passes for 158 yards, with two interceptions and zero touchdowns.

Receivers Demario Douglas (concussion) and Kayshon Boutte (shoulder/illness) were inactive for the game. New England also listed as inactive: cornerback Alex Austin, running back, JaMycal Hasty, offensive lineman Vederian Lowe and defensive end Deatrich Wise.

The Chargers had receiver Keenan Allen, who was limited in practice this week with a quadriceps injury, in uniform.

Los Angeles listed as inactive running back Isaiah Spiller, cornerback Ja’Sir Taylor, offensive lineman Zack Bailey, tight end Nick Vannett, receiver Simi Fehoko and defensive lineman Scott Matlock.


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