Patriots QB Mac Jones to start Sunday at Jets over Bailey Zappe

Quarterback Mac Jones is set to start for the Patriots when they visit the New York Jets on Sunday, NFL Network Insider Mike Garafolo reported Wednesday.

Jones had missed three games due to a high ankle sprain suffered in Week 3, but returned for Week 7 against Chicago. While Jones was injured, backup QB Bailey Zappe started two games and won both, performing at a level which created questions over whether he could become the starting quarterback even after Jones returned from injury. Jones is officially healthy and no longer on the injury report as he's been tabbed to retake the starting job over Zappe.

Following in the footsteps of coach Bill Belichick, who is known for holding his cards close to the chest, Jones himself avoiding confirming the news while talking to reporters Wednesday afternoon.

When directly asked whether he was going to start on Sunday, Jones responded, "I plan to start every game that I've ever played in, whether that was in peewee football or third-string at Alabama. I always try to prepare as the starter. Like I say, if it's one snap or 70, I'll be ready to go. That's all you can do, right? You can't really control anything else. I work really hard and put myself in position to do that, and yes, I think I deserve that."

Jones had started Monday's loss to the Bears, but was replaced by Zappe after three drives. Belichick later said this was a planned decision before the game, and if the score had not gotten away from the Patriots, Jones might have gone back into the game.

Amidst questions over who the Patriots would give Sunday's starting job to, Belichick said earlier on Wednesday that he would look at that day's practice to make his decision. After Jones took the majority of first-team snaps in practice on Wednesday, it appears he'll be the one under center this week, holding on to his starting job.

"I think, like I said, we have a plan," Jones said. "For me, that's to become a better quarterback individually and a better player, and I'm doing everything I can to do that, and I just want to prove that every day. That's what I'm going to do."

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