After already sitting out back-to-back games because of his ankle injury, it appears New England Patriots starting quarterback Mac Jones will also miss this Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns. The second-year man participating in the contest is considered “highly unlikely”, according to a report by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Jones, 24, had started the Patriots’ first three games of the season but was slow to get up after the final offensive play of the Week 3 contest against Baltimore. He was later diagnosed with a high ankle sprain — a multi-week issue expected to sideline him for some weeks. Nonetheless, Jones was back at practice just five days after suffering the injury.
Jones did miss New England’s games against the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions, but gradually increased his practice participation. He was listed as questionable for the upcoming game in Cleveland, even though it appears his comeback will take place no sooner than Week 7 against the Chicago Bears.
With Jones likely out, the Patriots will again turn to fourth-round rookie Bailey Zappe to start at quarterback. Zappe already filled in after regular backup Brian Hoyer suffered a concussion in Week 4, and he made his first career start a week later versus the Lions.
In total, the Western Kentucky product has completed 27 of 36 passing attempts for 287 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Now, he will get another opportunity to add to those numbers.
Backing him up, meanwhile, will be recent practice squad addition Garrett Gilbert. Just like last week, he was elevated from the practice squad to the game-day roster ahead of Saturday’s deadline.
The Patriots’ game against the Browns is scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff at Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium.