Ross Douglas coaches New England’s wide receivers, a group that is probably most affected by who is under center playing quarterback for the Patriots.
Yet, as of Tuesday morning, Douglas was seemingly in the same spot as fans and media alike wondering who’ll be at quarterback for New England when the team takes on the Lions Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.
“No indication at all,” Douglas said in a Zoom session with local reporters.
The uncertainty stems from the fact that Mac Jones is little more than a week removed from the reported severe high ankle sprain he suffered against the Ravens in Week 3. Backup Brian Hoyer was knocked out of the game in the first quarter of Sunday’s loss in Green Bay, leaving fourth-round rookie Bailey Zappe to make his NFL debut opposite Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field.
Now, Zappe is the only healthy QB on the Patriots’ depth chart and might just be in line to make his first NFL start against Detroit.
While Douglas may not know who his receivers will be catching passes from against the Lions, the young coach seemed impressed with how Zappe and the entire offense handled having to go to the third-string option on the fly in Green Bay.
“We have a great group of men on our offensive unit, all positions – offensive line, quarterback, wideouts, running backs, tight ends. Truly a great group of guys. We’ve been through a lot this year. A lot of guys have been through a lot in their career. So when Bailey stepped in, it was nothing,” Douglas said. “Those guys just continued to execute the game plan and rally around him. Everyone tried to pick up the slack and do whatever they could to make sure we moved the ball and put points on the board and give ourselves a chance to win.”
Zappe and the team as a whole did that, taking the Packers to overtime before losing by a field goal.
Depending on the status of Jones and Hoyer, a group effort around the young quarterback may just be required again this Sunday. That’s what Douglas’ receivers will be preparing for, at least.
“The good thing about Bailey, he’s been here since OTAs. From when he got drafted, he’s been here. So we’ve thrown routes on air with him. We’ve had reps with Bailey. So it’ll be…we just have to continue to get our timing down, and that’s with whoever is behind the center, we have to continue to get our timing down and continue to get used to how he throws the ball, how he communicates in the huddle, how he operates at the line of scrimmage. So that will be an ongoing process. But one that I know our guys are ready for and they’ll embrace it,” Douglas said.