Even though rookie Bailey Zappe has led the New England Patriots to two straight wins, there isn't a quarterback controversy in Foxboro.
Reports Thursday indicate that Mac Jones will resume his starting role when he returns to full health — and there's a good chance that happens this week.
Jones has missed the Patriots' past three games due to a sprained ankle.
First, Jeff Howe of the Athletic reported that Jones has not lost his starting job to Zappe, a fourth-round draft pick out of Western Kentucky. Zappe has completed nearly 73 percent of his passes for 596 yards, four touchdowns and one interception across the past three games and has won both of his starts.
"There is no QB controversy in New England. When Mac Jones is healthy enough to return to play, he’ll be the starter, per sources." -- Jeff Howe
Also on Thursday, ESPN's Mike Reiss reported that the Patriots expect Jones to make his return on Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears. Reiss said that Jones has "a final hurdle" to be cleared during practice this week.
Jones was listed as a limited participant during Thursday's practice, the team's first of the week, but Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal reported that he looked heavily involved and healthy.
"After seeing Mac Jones sprint and start practice with the offensive line, I’d be shocked if he doesn’t start on Monday. The tell is his work with the o-line to start practice. That’s what the starting QB does and where Bailey Zappe’s been the past two weeks." -- Mark Daniels
Don't expect the Patriots to make any definitive statements about Jones' status prior to Monday's matchup. Head coach Bill Belichick was characteristically evasive Thursday, saying he didn't want to discuss "hypotheticals and all that."
But it sounds like Patriots fans can expect to see Jones back behind center the next time the team takes the field.