Patriots QB Mac Jones (ankle) inactive vs. Browns

The New England Patriots will be without their 2021 first-round quarterback for a third consecutive game.

Mac Jones was limited in practice all week with a high ankle sprain and earned a surprising designation of questionable ahead of the club’s game against Cleveland, but the Pro Bowler could not make it all the way back and is officially inactive.

It has been a rough start to the year for Jones even before the ankle injury forced him out early in a Week 3 loss to Baltimore. The Alabama product has gone 64-of-97 passing for 786 yards, two touchdowns and five interceptions, good for a 76.2 passer rating.

Bailey Zappe, a fourth-rounder out of Western Kentucky, is set for the second start of his career in Jones' stead.

After backup Brian Hoyer exited Week 4 against the Packers with a concussion, Zappe stepped in and played well in a losing effort, throwing for 99 yards and a score.

He then delivered another safe, efficient performance in New England's 29-0 dismantling of the Detroit Lions the following week. Zappe missed on only four of his 21 passes, one of which went for an interception, and passed for 188 yards with another TD throw.

There may not be much flair to a Zappe-led New England unit, but he's proven himself capable of doing his job in Belichick's offense.

The Patriots (2-3) and Browns (2-3) kick off at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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