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Bailey Zappe reportedly given increased practice reps, but no quarterback change imminent

New England gave its backup passer increased opportunities leading up to the Week 5 game against the Saints.

New England Patriots Practice Photo by Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

With starter Mac Jones having played possibly the worst game of his career last Sunday, New England Patriots backup quarterback Bailey Zappe saw some increased reps during practice this week. However, according to a report by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, no change at the position “is considered likely or imminent” at the moment.

Jones went 12-for-21 for 150 yards in a blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4, turning the ball over three times. He thew a pair of interceptions and also lost a fumble; two of his giveaways were returned for touchdowns.

Zappe entered the game in the late third quarter, going only 4-for-9 for 57 yards but not turning the ball over. Nonetheless, New England ended up losing the game 38-3.

After the contest, the Patriots collectively threw their support behind Jones. Head coach Bill Belichick also claimed that no changes at the position would be upcoming, but he did not rule out Zappe’s workload increasing — something that has apparently happened now.

“I doubt anything would change significantly,” Belichick said. “But, we’ll talk about that. I don’t know. We haven’t gotten to that point yet.”

Offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, meanwhile, spoke highly of Zappe after last week’s game.

“Bailey works hard,” he said. “He’s really improved a lot. He’s got a really good demeanor for the position. He’s really improved a lot, and so I thought when he got into the game the other day he did some good things. Obviously, the game was not very close at that point in time, but he did some good things. And for him, that’s definitely something to build on. He’s a guy that works very, very hard. Great guy to coach.”

The Patriots will host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Kickoff at Gillette Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.