1 of 5 | New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said he told Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe that they would each get snaps at quarterback in Week 7. File Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Bill Belichick declined to say if quarterback Mac Jones or Bailey Zappe will start in Week 8, after the New England Patriots coach benched Jones in Week 7.
Belichick benched Jones after he threw an interception in the second quarter of the Patriots' 33-14 loss to the Chicago Bears on Monday in Foxborough, Mass. He addressed the situation Monday night and again Tuesday morning, when he met with reporters.
"That's a hypothetical question, so let's see where that is and what that is," Belichick said Tuesday when asked if Jones would start future games.
Jones completed 3 of 6 passes for 13 yards and an interception in Week 7. Zappe completed 14 of 22 passes for 185 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
"I prepared like I have every other week," Zappe told reporters Monday. "If the decision was made for me to go in, I was going to go in there and do the best for my team."
Jones missed the Patriots' previous three games due to a high ankle sprain. Belichick said Monday he told Jones and Zappe last week at practice both would play against the Bears.
He said Jones' health was a "factor" in the decision to play both quarterbacks. He also said the decision to take Jones out in the second quarter was neither a medical decision nor related to his interception.
"I told the quarterbacks we were going to play both of them, so we did," Belichick said.
Belichick said Jones "would have gone back in" if the score hadn't gotten "out of hand" in the second half of Sunday's loss.
He said he "didn't see" himself using the strategy of starting a different quarterback each week for the rest of the season.
The Patriots (3-4) rank 21st in passing yards and 19th in passing touchdowns. They also have the No. 12 rushing offense in the league. The Patriots rank 16th in points and 17th in total yards.
Jones, who made the Pro Bowl in 2021, completed 65% of his throws for 799 yards, two scores and six interceptions in four starts this season. He also fumbled.
"I just try to control what I can control, and that's my attitude and my effort," Jones said Monday night. "That's something I've done since high school.
"Obviously, I need to be able to play better."
Zappe, who joined the Patriots in the fourth-round of the 2022 NFL Draft, completed 24 of 34 passes for 309 yards and two scores in the Patriots' Week 6 win over the Cleveland Browns.
He completed 17 of 21 passes for 188 yards, one score and an interception in his first career start, a Week 5 win over the Detroit Lions.
The Patriots will face the New York Jets (5-2) at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates a fourth quarter touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday. The Chiefs defeated the 49ers 44-23. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo