NFL Network's Ian Rapoport calls Patriots QB Mac Jones (ankle) "highly unlikely" to play vs. the Browns today. Jones was officially limited in all 3 practices this week and is listed as questionable. But he always seemed like a long shot to play just 3 weeks after suffering what looked like a significant high-ankle sprain. QB Bailey Zappe will make his 2nd career start today.
Patriots insider Mark Daniels hears that QB Mac Jones is "very excited" about the hiring of new OC Bill O'Brien. Jones seemed uncomfortable in and frustrated by New England's offense this past season. He and O'Brien briefly overlapped back in 2021, when O'Brien was hired by Alabama and Jones was in the pre-draft process. It’ll be “nice to start a new working relationship with someone that you already have had the opportunity to work with," a source close to Jones told Daniels. Jones is a 2023 bounce-back candidate after his numbers dipped across the board this past year -- although we're still not excited about his fantasy upside.
The Patriots hired Bill O'Brien as OC. He returns to the same position he held in 2011, when New England ranked 2nd in total yards and 3rd in points with QB Tom Brady. O'Brien was also on the Patriots' offensive staff from 2007 to 2010, so he has plenty of familiarity with the organization. Since leaving New England after that 2011 campaign, O'Brien spent 2 years as Penn State's HC, 7 years as the Texans' HC and, most recently, the past 2 years as Alabama's OC. If nothing else, the Patriots will have a legitimate offensive mind running the offense in 2023 -- something they didn't have this past season.
NBC Sports' Tom Curran hears that "offensive coaching reassignments" are expected in New England this offseason. In other words, expect a legitimate offensive coordinator to be hired after the Patriots experimented with a combination of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge running the offense this past season. We'll see exactly what the Patriots do to the offensive side of the staff, but it's likely to be good news for QB Mac Jones and the skill-position guys.
Patriots HC Bill Belichick refused to commit to QB Mac Jones as his starter the rest of the way when asked on Thursday. Jones has been bad for most of the season and bottomed out with 112 passing yards on 3.6 yards per attempt vs. the Raiders last week. It's possible that we see QB Bailey Zappe again this year -- but you should be trying to avoid this passing game in fantasy lineups.
Patriots QB Mac Jones went an ugly 13-of-31 passing (41.9%) for 112 yards in Sunday's loss to the Raiders, with no TDs or INTs. WRs Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor tied for the target lead with 6 apiece but totaled just 3 receptions between them. This was Jones' 2nd straight game without a TD and 2nd among the past 3 with less than 200 yards. He's simply not a viable fantasy option at this stage.
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