After replacing Mac Jones with Bailey Zappe for the final drive of the Patriots’ loss to the Colts on Sunday in Germany, Patriots Coach Bill Belichick had nothing to share about the state of his quarterback situation on Tuesday heading into the bye week.

Belichick was asked if Jones was still the No. 1 quarterback for the Patriots, who are off until traveling to New York to face the Giants on Nov. 26 at MetLife Stadium. Belichick didn’t mention any of his quarterbacks by name, say the word quarterback or answer the question.

“We have a lot of things to work on as a team and we’ll work through those,” Belichick said. “That’s what we’re going to do this week.”

He was then asked, how important he felt it was to convey whatever decision he makes to the players today? Again he steered well clear.

“The first thing we’ll do today is talk about the Colt game and talk about the corrections and some of the things we need to do,” he said. “That’s the emphasis today.”

He was later asked if still had confidence in Jones.


“I have confidence in all of our players.”

WITH THE PLAYOFFS well out of reach for the Patriots, don’t expect Belichick to use the remainder of the season to give younger and less proven players expanded reps, playing time or game-day chances to prove themselves for the future.

At 2-8, the chances of the Patriots winning their seven remaining games is incredibly small. Even if they did, their chances of making the playoffs at 9-8 would be almost as small. The New York Times’ playoff picture has New England with a less than 1% chance of making the postseason. The 2023 season is lost.

Belichick’s focus is still on the present, not down the road. Anyone hoping to see more of Kayshon Boutte, Tyquan Thornton, Jalen Reagor, Marte Mapu, Alex Austin, Will Grier or Malik Cunningham might be disappointed. If they don’t surpass a veteran in practice, even a veteran, who is unlikely to be part of the Patriots next year, they won’t see their role increase.

“I’ll play players that deserve to play,” Belichick said. “Let’s put it that way. If they deserve to play, I’ll play them. I’m not going to play somebody I don’t think deserves to play or that will hurt the team or isn’t ready to play. If they show they deserve to play, we’ll play all the active players which we do most every week. Everybody that’s active, they’ll have a role in the game with an exception here or there. It’s up to them to earn that. If they do, that’s what they can look forward to. If they don’t, somebody else would have earned it instead of them and they’ll be out there.

“I think you have to look at the football team,” he added. “If you put somebody out there that’s not prepared and is able to do what they need to do, it just puts other players at risk. I don’t believe in that. That’s the way I look at it.”


JACK JONES is out of the picture. It wasn’t quite “We’re on to Cincinnati,” but Belichick had another go-to response when peppered with questions about his team: “I felt like it was time to move on.”

Belichick was asked multiple times about the Patriots’ decision to waive second-year cornerback Jack Jones after a tumultuous run with the team. Jones had been largely relegated to the bench in recent weeks and was let go right after the team’s return from Germany this week.

Here’s what Belichick had to say about the decision:

• So, what went into the decision to cut Jones? – “Just felt like it’s time to move on.”

• Well, was the decision to part ways due to Jones’ performance or due to his behavior and conduct off of the field? – “I felt like it was time to move on.”

• Did something happen in Germany that led to Jones being cut? – “No, not really.”


• Why now? Why cut Jones this week after he was clearly in a precarious position in recent weeks? – “Yeah, I just felt like this was the time.”

• How do the Patriots feel about the decision to draft Jones? Is there something they missed in the draft process? – “Jack’s a talented player. He showed that when he played for us at times. In the end, I felt like we just needed to move on. But he’s a talented player.”

• So, was Jones simply not getting the message from the coaching staff? – “I felt like it was time to move on.”

• If Jones clears waivers, would the Patriots consider bringing him back on the practice squad? – “No.”

A fourth-round pick in 2022, Jones had a promising rookie season as a cover cornerback. However, Jones (who had character concerns coming into the NFL) ran into off-field trouble over the offseason. He was arrested and accused of bringing a firearm onto a plane at Logan Airport – though the charges were later dropped.

Before the Week 9 game against the Washington Commanders Jones reportedly missed curfew at the team hotel. The following day, he sat the entire first quarter before entering the game.


As Belichick mentioned, Jones showed talent during his time in New England. However, it looks like the team’s patience with him ran out halfway through Year 2.

RUNNING BACK SIGNED: It didn’t take long for the Patriots to fill the empty spot on their 53-man roster that opened after they waived Jones, claiming running back JaMycal Hasty off waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Hasty was waived by Jacksonville earlier this week after signing an extension with the team in the offseason. The 27-year-old began his NFL career with the 49ers after going undrafted in 2020 out of Baylor.

He was waived in August 2022 by the Niners before being claimed by the Jags a few days later. Hasty appeared in all 17 games for Jacksonville last year and rushed for 194 yards and two touchdowns, while also totaling 20 catches for 126 yards and a touchdown.

Hasty appeared in just three games this season and was used in limited capacity after falling on the Jags’ depth chart to rookie Tank Bigsby and D’Ernest Johnson. Most of the snaps Hasty saw this year were on special teams.

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