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Patriots QB Mac Jones says 'we'll see' if he starts Sunday vs. Giants

Mac Jones stood at the podium Wednesday, a place where the starting quarterback typically speaks about the upcoming game.

Jones didn't say, however, if he would be starting Sunday for the New England Patriots in their game at the New York Giants.

Since Jones was benched at the end of the Patriots' 10-6 loss to the Colts in Germany, the state of New England's quarterback position has remained a mystery.

Jones struggled in the loss. His replacement, Bailey Zappe, threw a game-sealing INT after a fake spike. Head coach Bill Belichick has declined to name a starting quarterback in the week-plus since the Week 10 game.

Asked whether he'll start Sunday, Jones sounded optimistic but hardly definitive.

"Hope so," Jones told reporters on Wednesday. "That's the plan, I think."

Jones was asked where his confidence is after the benching.

"It's good," he said. "When you're a competitor there (are) things you're going to bump into, but you have to keep going."

The fact that Jones spoke Wednesday suggests he very well could start. The last time Jones didn't start for the Patriots was after he was injured last season against the Ravens, leading to Zappe stealing some of his thunder during a brief spell of success.

But the Patriots also released Zappe this August on roster cut-down day (before re-signing him) and haven't seemed to give him the same chances under new offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien.

The Patriots also have Will Grier on the active roster and Malik Cunningham on the practice squad. Grier struggled in two starts for the Carolina Panthers in 2019 and hasn't taken a regular-season snap since. He's been with the Cowboys and Bengals before signing with the Patriots in August.

Cunningham moonlighted at quarterback – his college position at Louisville – in the preseason, while also working at wide receiver. He has appeared in one game for the Patriots, playing six snaps against the Raiders in Week 6 and taking a sack on what would have been his only pass attempt.

Jones said he's had "some good conversations" with Belichick about who would start Sunday, but if Jones knew the answer, he wasn't giving up.

We've had good conversations, and really what I've been focusing on is what I can control. Put a lot of thought into that, the things that I can control throughout the year, in the past and in the future, and right now that's today. Really focused on having good walkthroughs, which we did, and then have a good practice. So, that's what I can do, control what I can control.

"I hope so," Jones said. "I work really hard for that. But the decision-making is something I can't control."

He added: "A lot of that decision-making is things I can't control, but I can control my attitude and my effort. … I'm really thankful overall to be in the NFL and be playing quarterback."

It's looking more and more like we won't receive final word on who will start Sunday for New England until kickoff, but based on how Wednesday went, Jones appears to be a heavy favorite to return to that spot.

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