There was some optimism that starter Mac Jones could return this week from his high ankle sprain, as he was limited in practice all week, but it appears he is still a week or two away from having full mobility. He is officially listed as doubtful for Week 5.
Zappe got his first taste of NFL action last week when backup quarterback Brian Hoyer suffered a concussion in the first half of the Patriots’ game against the Green Bay Packers. In three quarters of play, Zapped completed 10-of-15 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown, but he was also sacked three times. With Hoyer on injured reserve now, it’s Zappe show time.
The Lions know Zappe particularly well, as they coached the fourth-round pick during the Senior Bowl back in February.
“Highly intelligent,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said about Zappe this week. “I mean he picked up the offense very quickly, very composed, just had a good command of the huddle. Teammates respected him. You could tell they listened to him, and he kind of plays that way. So, I thought they did a good job with him of just trying to get him settled in and being smart and not putting him in a bind, continue to run the football, do things to get the ball out, and then a little play-action.”
Obviously, the Patriots had to limit their playbook for their third-string quarterback in emergency duties last week. However, Campbell expects a full week of practice as the team’s starter should have Zappe more prepared this week.
“If he’s the guy, he’ll be much more settled,” Campbell said. “That’s hard for a rookie, to just go in there and there you go, you’re rolling. So they’ll have a good plan for him.”