Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Patriots’ Brian Hoyer leaves Week 4 vs. Packers with head injury; rookie Bailey Zappe takes over at QB


Mac Jones was unable to suit up for the Patriots‘ Week 4 matchup with the Packers on Sunday. Now his backup, Brian Hoyer, is also sidelined. Just seven throws into his first 2022 start as Jones’ replacement, the 36-year-old quarterback was forced out of action in the first quarter of Sunday’s game after absorbing a big hit on a sack from Green Bay pass rusher Rashan Gary. After a brief visit to the medical tent on the sidelines, Hoyer departed for the locker room to be evaluated for a head injury, leaving rookie third-stringer Bailey Zappe as the Patriots’ last active QB.

Hoyer, on his third stint with the team, had been under steady pressure before Gary’s third-down sack left him hobbled. Minutes after the Patriots announced he’d suffered a potential head injury, the team ruled him out for the remainder of the contest. Zappe, 23, took over with New England up 3-0, and no other official QBs available on the roster.

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Zappe saw extensive work in the 2022 preseason, when he struggled along with Jones as the Patriots implemented a new system for play-calling after losing longtime coordinator Josh McDaniels. The Western Kentucky product was a fourth-round draft pick of the team this year. He spent his first four college seasons at Houston Baptist before transferring and breaking out with a record 5,967 passing yards and 61 touchdowns in his first and only year with the Hilltoppers.

Jones, meanwhile, had previously been ruled out while battling a high-ankle sprain. The second-year starter also had X-rays for a back injury earlier this year.

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