The New England Patriots’ QB room has been the source of much drama and speculation as the season has approached. First they cut everyone. Then they brought those guys back on the practice squad. Then they added Matt Corral as the only QB behind Mac Jones on the 53-man roster. Well that drama may have taken a massive turn, according to speculation from NESN’s Zack Cox.
Matt Corral was absent from the Patriots’ final Week 1 practice before Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The absence has yet to be explained, and Corral wasn’t on the injury report anywhere. Cox speculates that it could be that Corral has already been released.
This absence becomes even more conspicuous when you take into account Belichick’s comments about Corral from the pre-practice press conference.
Belichick was asked about his confidence in having Corral serve as Mac Jones’ backup on gameday, and while it’s never easy to decipher Bill’s thoughts, this reply sure didn’t seem like a glowing review:
The NFL clarified their “emergency third QB” rules earlier in the week, which potentially threw a wrench in potential plans to try having Bailey Zappe available on gameday without taking up a spot on the 53-man roster. This means the Patriots have no choice but to bring Zappe up to the 53 if they want him to be eligible to get on the field in any situation.
That wouldn’t mean the Pats would need three QBs among the 48 active players on gameday (Corral could be an inactive and the emergency QB3), but even taking up that spot on the 53-man roster could be too much.
Belichick loves his specialists, and that makes roster spots in New England a little more precious than they’re treated elsewhere.
It’s a cutthroat business, and we may well have already seen the last of Corral before he’s even had a chance to get familiar with the Patriots’ system.
This also means it looks like all this QB drama has been much ado about nothing.
Despite all the speculation and worrying and drumming up of new storylines, it’s seeming an awful lot like the Week 1 situation is exactly what we had going last year, with Bailey Zappe as the QB2 backing up Mac Jones, the unquestioned starter.
We’ve hit that time in September when offseason drama is getting tiring. Sunday’s kickoff can’t get here soon enough.
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