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Bailey Zappe expected to start, but Mac Jones still active for Patriots in Week 13

Patriots 1st Down: It looks like it's Bailey Zappe's time at quarterback
Patriots 1st Down: It looks like it's Bailey Zappe's time at quarterback 02:09

FOXBORO -- The 2-9 Patriots are making a change at quarterback, but Mac Jones in still active for New England's Week 13 game against the L.A. Chargers at Gillette Stadium.

With Bailey Zappe expected to make his first start of the season, Jones will likely serve as New England's third-string quarterback on Sunday. Malik Cunningham will likely be the backup and serve as depth at wide receiver, after the QB/WR was elevated to the active roster from the practice squad on Saturday. 

Jones never even took the field for warmups Sunday morning at a rainy Gillette Stadium, an indication that he'll be third on the pecking order against the Chargers. 

It has been a season of struggles for the third-year quarterback, who has taken a massive step back from a disappointing 2022 season. In 11 games this season, Jones has completed just 64.9 percent of his passes (224-of-345) for 10 touchdowns while throwing 12 interceptions. Those 12 picks are the second-most in the NFL this season.

Jones has been benched four times in the middle of games this year, including each of the last two weeks. He's thrown four interceptions over his last three games -- all New England losses.

Zappe hasn't fared much better in relief of Jones, throwing two picks and no touchdowns while completing just 19 of his 39 passes this season. But he is 2-0 as a starter for his career, winning both games in place of an injured Jones last season.

Six players are inactive for New Engalnd, including receivers Demario Douglas (concussion) and Kayshon Boutte (shoulder/illness). Defensive lineman Deatrich Wise Jr. is also inactive after he was downgraded to questionable Sunday morning with an illness.

For the Chargers, star receiver Keenan Allen (quad) and right tackle Trey Pipkins (wrist) are both active for Sunday's game.

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