Following an ugly loss to the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football, the New England Patriots' quarterback situation is as muddled as ever.
No surprise that head coach Bill Belichick isn't exactly clearing things up.
Mac Jones, who had missed the Patriots' previous three games due to a sprained ankle, started against the Bears. But after he threw an interception in the second quarter, he was replaced by fourth-round rookie Bailey Zappe, who played the remainder of the game.
Belichick, of course, has since been asked who will start moving forward. Speaking to reporters Tuesday morning, he simply maintained that the coaching staff will "evaluate the situation."
Does Belichick know who will be starting against the Jets this coming weekend? "We'll do what we feel like is best for the football team." Is it a quarterback competition this week? "We'll evaluate the situation, as we always do." -- Phil Perry
Reports emerged prior to Monday night's matchup that the Patriots planned to play both Jones and Zappe, who won each of his two starts while Jones was injured. And after the game, Belichick said Jones wasn't removed due to health or performance issues, that inserting Zappe was the plan all along.
But considering Jones never returned to the game after his interception and Belichick hasn't named him the team's starter moving forward, this has the feel of a quarterback controversy.
"Bill Belichick continues to pass on opportunities to declare Mac Jones the starter. And as for last night—If you just watched the game, and nothing else, that had all the earmarks of a benching. At some point, to me, having Jones’ back here has to be a factor." -- Albert Breer
Belichick has always been coy about players' health and availability statuses.
But some are wondering whether it would be worth to tip off next week's opponent, the New York Jets, about who will start in order to give Jones a vote of confidence — assuming he still has his job, that is.
Most likely, we won't know who Belichick plans to start moving forward until the Patriots takes the field at 1 p.m. on Sunday.