Belichick refuses to confirm Patriots starting quarterback

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Mystery remains around the New England Patriots starting quarterback for Sunday's game against the New York Jets with head coach Bill Belichick refusing to declare his hand.

Mac Jones was benched after three series for backup Bailey Zappe in the Patriots' 33-14 home defeat to the Chicago Bears on Monday.

Belichick insisted that decision was not performance-based after the game, alluding to the fact Jones was returning in Week 7 following a three-game absence due to a high ankle sprain.

Jones was not listed on the Patriots' injury report this week, yet Belichick declined to elaborate on the situation on Wednesday ahead of practice.

"We'll see how it goes today," Belichick told reporters five times when asked about the QB situation.

Onlookers at Patriots practice on Wednesday claimed that Jones took the vast majority of first team reps in an indication he will start on Sunday.

Jones, who was taken with the 15th pick in last year's NFL Draft, has started four games this season, completing 67 of 103 attempts for 799 yards with two touchdowns and six interceptions.

The second-year quarterback admitted that he had not been told by Belichick if he would start against the Jets but insisted he was fine with that.

"He's done a good job, been very open with me," Jones said. "I think that's all you can ask for, clear communication. Putting all the rat poison away and playing the best I can play and becoming the best quarterback I can be.

"Like I said, those are things that we want to work through as the week goes along. I don’t really care if they tell me or not, it's just important that I'm ready to go. Just as Zappe is ready to go.

"It's the same way every week, you want to prepare as a starter… I plan to start every game I've ever played in."