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Online Gambling USA / New England Patriots make roster move for Week 1

New England Patriots make roster move for Week 1

Publish Date: 10/09/2023
Fact checked by: Josh Schwartz

Left: Ty Montgomery, Right: Bailey Zappe, tags: england patriots roster - CC

In preparation for their Week 1 game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Gillette Stadium, the New England Patriots have made a decisive move to reset their reserve quarterback situation. The team wasted no time signing second-year quarterback Bailey Zappe to the 53-man roster while simultaneously parting ways with Matt Corral.

Now placed on the exempt/left squad list, Corral freed up a roster spot for Zappe on Saturday. Notably, another team cannot sign Corral as the Patriots have not released him, and he also does not count against the 53-man roster limit while on the list.

New England has also placed cornerback Jack Jones on in-season injured reserve. This move has opened a spot on the 53-man roster for WR/RB Ty Montgomery.

Montgomery is expected to provide depth behind lead-backs Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott. Additionally, linebacker Calvin Munson has been promoted from the practice squad.

Zappe’s clear offensive advantage over Corral

Despite experiencing ups and downs during the second training camp, Zappe faced a surprising cut during the 53-man roster reduction last week. He has a significant advantage in the backup QB competition due to his several months of experience under offense coordinator Bill O’Brien.

During his Friday morning press conference, head coach Bill Belichick suggested that Zappe’s familiarity with the offensive system dating back to the spring provided him with an advantage over Corral.

“That’s a decision we’re going to have to finalize here today. I think it’s a consideration,” Belichick said. “Bailey [Zappe] certainly has the advantage on experience and time in the system and all that, so we’ll see how that all plays out. We have a couple of different options there, so we’ll kind of see how that goes, try to make the best one.”

Zappe, set to be Mac Jones’s backup on Sunday, initially faced uncertainty due to a challenging summer. As a second-year quarterback, he showed promise in a simpler offense during his rookie year. This system featured play-action plays and extra blockers for protection, which he handled comfortably.

However, O’Brien’s offense posed more mental demands. It required the quarterback to make protection calls, audibles at the line, and navigate through full-field progressions rather than following a preset rhythm. Zappe struggled at times with timely decisions, leading to four sacks and three fumbles in a preseason game due to delayed choices.

Despite his preseason challenges, Zappe remains a viable backup quarterback. Notably, he excels in executing under-center play-action plays, which can be an asset when he takes the field.

The Patriots also saw to it that Zappe’s fellow second-year teammate Jones is on in-season injured reserve. The team cited a hamstring injury that will keep him sidelined for at least the next four games.

Earlier this week, Jones resolved his offseason legal issues, clearing the path for his participation in Week 1. However, reports indicate that the second-year cornerback suffered a hamstring injury during practice, leading to his absence from multiple upcoming games.

Belichick initially anticipated Jones’s availability, but later in the week, he reversed his stance. Jones was officially ruled out for Sunday’s game, as indicated in the injury report released on Friday.

While Jones is known for his turnover-generating skills, it wasn’t guaranteed that he would play a substantial role in Sunday’s game plan against the run-centric Eagles, who thrive on misdirection, motion, and yards after contact. The Patriots would likely have leaned on their versatile safety group to counter the run game while remaining effective in pass coverage.

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