Report: Mac Jones Likely Out for Patriots-Browns; Bailey Zappe to Start

Report: Mac Jones likely out for Patriots-Browns; Zappe to start originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

It sounds like Mac Jones is very close to a return -- but isn't quite ready yet.

It's "highly unlikely" Jones plays in New England Patriots' Week 6 matchup with the Cleveland Browns after being listed as questionable due to an ankle injury, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports.

Jones has missed the last two weeks due to a high ankle sprain he suffered in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens, and while he practiced this week on a limited basis, it appears the team will roll with Bailey Zappe as its starting quarterback for the second consecutive game.

Perry: Belichick's Mac Jones conundrum and a Pats-Browns preview

Zappe has performed capably in Jones' absence, helping the Patriots force overtime against the Green Bay Packers in Week 4 and leading a 29-0 rout of the Detroit Lions in Week 5 by completing 17 of 21 passes for 188 yards with one touchdown pass and one interception.

Considering Zappe's recent play and the strength of New England's ground game, it makes sense for the team not to rush Jones back before he's fully healthy.

The Patriots also activated quarterback Garrett Gilbert from the practice squad Saturday night, and the veteran presumably will back up Zappe with Jones and Brian Hoyer (on injured reserve with a concussion) not available.

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