BOSTON -- We've all heard a lot about the Patriots' offense this summer at training camp. Many fans have been eager to see it for themselves in the team's preseason opener on Thursday night.
But they may have to wait a bit longer.
While the Patriots and Bill Belichick would never volunteer game-relevant information (even for a preseason game), ESPN's Mike Reiss noticed something at practice on Tuesday that might indicate that fans hoping to see Mac Jones sling some passes under the lights at Gillette Stadium on Thursday will be sorely disappointed.
"The Patriots worked off 'cards' for the first time, which is when they show one side of the ball something specific to do in preparation for an upcoming game," Reiss wrote in his practice observations from Tuesday. "When the defense worked off cards, the quarterbacks were Brian Hoyer and Bailey Zappe, which could be a tip-off that Mac Jones (and many other starters) aren't going to play in Thursday's preseason opener against the Giants. Jones' reps in that part of practice came when he ran 'cards' for the defense that figures to play most of the snaps Thursday night."
In a video recap of practice, Reiss added that this doesn't necessarily mean that Jones and many starters won't play.
"I'm curious to see if my opinion on that comes to fruition," Reiss said. "So I just wanted to pass that observation along."
Head coach Bill Belichick was asked about the game plan for Thursday night, and he said that "there is no game-planning in the preseason." Belichick was asked specifically if he anticipates Jones playing in the game.
"We haven't even had those conversations yet," he said prior to Tuesday's practice session.
A longtime veteran of the Patriots beat, Reiss has a rather good handle on such matters. We'll find out for sure who's playing and who's not playing when the Patriots take the field on Thursday evening.
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