Sport

Report: Mac Jones expects to be available for Monday night

The Patriots may or may not have a quarterback controversy. The answer to that question could be coming soon.

Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports that starter Mac Jones expects to be available for the Monday night game against the Bears. Whether that’s enough to put Jones back under center remains to be seen.

Coach Bill Belichick consistently has declined to declare that Jones will be the starter when healthy, fueling speculation that rookie Bailey Zappe may be playing his way into the job.

As explained on Sunday, some uncharacteristic rumblings have emerged regarding the relationship between Jones and the Patriots. We’ve heard repeatedly that Jones isn’t thrilled with the situation there, for various reasons. For now it’s more of a simmer. But if Jones believes he has recovered from a Week Three high ankle sprain and the Patriots refuse to play him, it could become a boil.

This isn’t a case, as best we can tell, of Belichick being anxious to flip from Jones to Zappe, the way Belichick was when the opportunity arose to supplant Drew Bledsoe with Tom Brady. But there’s a chance that the relationship organically becomes dysfunctional, prompting Belichick to keep Jones on the bench, if only to prove the same point Belichick once tried to prove to Malcolm Butler — at the potential expense of a Super Bowl victory.

That’s when things could implode, or explode. If Jones is healthy and Belichick rides with Zappe because Jones hasn’t blindly adhered to the Stepford Patriot Way, Jones may have something to say about the situation.