Mac Jones was back on the field Monday night for patriotsHe’s in his first start since coming out in the third week with a sprained ankle. It didn’t last long. Struggling from the gate against bear, the previous first-round draft pick received boos from the Gillette Stadium crowd after being contested in the second quarter. In the next drive for New England, Jones was promptly sued in favor of rookie substitute Billy Zappy, who responded with an immediate landing attempt to ignite the offense.
The 23-year-old has become a fan favorite and a major league-level sensation in his first year with the Patriots. Taking over the under position in Week 4 after seasoned veteran Brian Hoyer suffered a concussion while replacing Jones, the Western Kentucky producer in the fourth round demonstrated poise and efficiency in back-to-back wins as an interim start. Meanwhile, Jones looked hesitant in his pocket during his first hit since suffering an ankle injury, as he finished Monday’s game 3 of 6 for 13 yards and a pick.
Jones was officially pulled from the game just over 11 minutes before the first half. He has now thrown only two touchdowns compared to six interceptions in the year, after making a relatively promising debut in 2021 as the first full-time team. On the other hand, Zappy was sharp off the bench, which helped pull the New Englanders three points clear of the Bears thanks to his first drive.
Jones commanded the majority of the practice reps in the lead-up to Monday’s game, according to reports, but Patriots coach Bill Belichick left the door open for Xabi to remain the primary QB player even after Jones returned to full health.
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