New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones is on a short leash for Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders, sources told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Jones reportedly could be pulled if the Patriots struggle during the opening few series of the Week 6 matchup.

The 25-year-old was benched late in New England’s last two games, but both were blowout losses. The Patriots were outscored a combined 72-3 by the New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys.


It’s unclear if Bailey Zappe or Will Grier would take over for Jones. Zappe came in against the Saints and Cowboys, but Grier – who was claimed from the Cincinnati Bengals following a strong preseason performance – could have a shot at playing, adds Rapoport.

New England might also expand Malik Cunningham’s role. The quarterback/receiver was moved off the practice squad to the active roster Saturday, and the Patriots reportedly have developed a package of plays for him.

Jones’ poor play from 2022 has continued into the start of this campaign. The quarterback has completed 62.5% of his passes for 1,008 yards and five touchdowns against six interceptions.

Jones also had three of his turnovers returned for defensive scores and has failed to throw a touchdown pass in the last two weeks.

Despite the quarterback’s struggles, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has continued to insist Jones is the team’s starter and suggested Jones was pulled from the blowout defeats to protect him from injury.

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