Malik Cunningham says he’s not part of Patriots QB plans ahead of Week 12

FOXBORO — You can cross one player off of the list of potential Patriots starting quarterback options this week.

Rookie Malik Cunningham told the Herald that he has not practiced regularly at quarterback since Week 6 before the Patriots played the Raiders. Cunningham, who’s officially listed on the practice squad as a quarterback, said he hasn’t practiced the position at all this week as the Patriots prepare for the Giants, instead focusing on wide receiver and special teams.

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“They just always tell me with the quarterback stuff to always be ready, to keep studying the summer stuff, the weeks that I was activated, just keep studying some of that stuff so if something were to change that those would be the plays that I would run,” Cunningham said. “So, just keeping up on those plays and other than that, just keep working at my wide receiver stuff.”

Cunningham said the team didn’t explain to him why he wasn’t practicing at quarterback anymore.

“I’m a team player, so whatever the team needs me to do, I’m going to do it,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham signed with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in May. He played quarterback in rookie minicamp but moved to wide receiver during OTAs and minicamp. The Louisville product did practice as a quarterback during training camp and got reps at the position during the preseason. He even served as Mac Jones’ backup quarterback in Week 6 against the Raiders and took a sack in his only dropback.

The Patriots have not named a starting quarterback this week after benching Jones for Bailey Zappe during the final two minutes of the team’s Week 10 loss to the Colts. Jones, Zappe and Will Grier received first-team practice reps during the bye week.

Cunningham, a four-year starting quarterback at Louisville, believes he’s continued to grow in his new role at receiver.

“It’s been coming along,” Cunningham said. “I feel like I’ve been getting better. Just going against (slot cornerback) Myles (Bryant) every day since I’ve been in the slot on the scout. Going against Myles, he’s been getting me a lot better. A lot of stuff that I need to work on. I try to help him, and he tries to help me with some hints in the slot spot, some of the tendencies that you give away to a defender. So, just trying not to give those tendencies away.”

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