Source: Patriots planning to start QB Mac Jones against Giants

The Patriots are planning to start quarterback Mac Jones against the Giants, a source told the Herald.

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Bailey Zappe says players don’t know which Patriots QB will start

Jones split the starting reps with backup Bailey Zappe in practice this week. Both quarterbacks told reporters they did not know who would start this weekend’s kickoff in New York. Jones was benched in the final minutes of the Patriots’ last game, a 10-6 loss to the Colts that Zappe capped with an interception on the team’s final drive.

Jones has been benched three times in 10 games. He said Wednesday he planned to start, as he has every game this season.

“Hope so,” Jones said. “That’s the plan, I think.”

He later added: “I always work really hard for that. Really put a lot of attention to detail into the week like I talked about. A lot of that decision making is things I can’t control, but I can control my attitude and my effort like I talked about. I’m really thankful overall just to be in the NFL and to be playing quarterback on Thanksgiving, right? It’s a great week to be grateful for a lot of things. To play this game, the game we love, together, I think that means a lot to me regardless of the situation.”

This year, Jones has completed 65.4% of his passes for 2,031 yards, 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Zappe has struggled in mop-up duty, going 10-of-25 for 104 yards and an interception in three relief appearances. Asked Friday if he would benefit from a full week of starting reps, Zappe shrugged.

“I mean, who knows? Whenever I get the opportunity, those opportunities, I’ve got to go in there and do my job,” he said. “Haven’t done that to the best of my ability so when the next opportunity comes, whenever it is — this week, next week, whenever — I’ll make sure I take advantage of that opportunity and just try to go out there to help the team win.”

Bill Belichick deflected all quarterback-related questions this week, saying he’s told all players to “be ready to go.”

Amid the uncertainty, undrafted rookie quarterback/receiver Malik Cunningham told the Herald’s Doug Kyed he has not taken any snaps under center since the team’s Week 6 loss at Las Vegas, when he was the only backup quarterback available. Offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien also revealed Monday third-string quarterback Will Grier took some starting reps in practice last week before the team’s bye. Grier has not seen any since and was waived Saturday morning.

The Patriots and Giants will kick off Sunday at 1 p.m. in MetLife Stadium.

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