NFL Rumors: Patriots Quarterback to Return in Week 7

Bailey fever might be coming to an end. According to ESPN's Mike Reiss, New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones is expected to be ready for Week 7's Monday Night Football matchup against the Chicago Bears. Jones suffered a high-ankle sprain in the Patriots' Week 3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, costing him the past three games. In his absence, rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe has kept the Patriots afloat, leading the team to dominant wins over the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns.

Zappe has played well enough to inspire a bit of premature quarterback controversy, throwing for 596 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception across his three appearances. Jones had struggled to open this season following his own impressive rookie season, turning the ball over six times in his three starts.

Head coach Bill Belichick has been typically tight-lipped about who will start Monday night, but the six-time Super Bowl champion hasn't been averse to controversial quarterback decisions before. Belichick stuck with little-known sixth-round pick Tom Brady in 2001 following franchise quarterback and former first-overall pick Drew Bledsoe's recovery from an early season injury, and that worked out pretty well. Jones joined the Patriots as their 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft after an NCAA championship-winning junior season with perennial powerhouse Alabama. He immediately rewarded the Patriots' investment with an impressive first year that saw him lead all rookie passers in passing yards and touchdowns. 

Zappe, Jones' replacement these past two weeks, was a fourth-round draft pick from this year's draft. He won CUSA's Most Valuable Player award in 2021 while playing for Western Kentucky.
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