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Bailey Zappe returns to Patriots, but in a different role

Bailey Zappe has returned to the New England fold, albeit with a revised role that marks a shift from his previous stint. No longer slated as Mac Jones' backup quarterback, Zappe finds himself stationed on the squad sidelines. In a recent update from NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero, it was revealed that Zappe has rejoined the Patriots, this time as a practice squad participant.

In a parallel narrative, Malik Cunningham, a preseason standout, has also managed to navigate the waiver wire unscathed and is set to rejoin the Patriots in a practice squad capacity, according to Pelissero.

Numerous teams had expressed interest in securing Zappe's services once he became available, a testament to his potential. Nevertheless, he made the decision to return to familiar territory in New England. Here, the Patriots have strategically placed him in a cohort that doesn't occupy a slot within the official 53-man roster but stands ready to step in during critical junctures.

With Mac Jones as the sole prominent figure on the depth chart, Zappe falls into the next tier, underscoring the Patriots' pursuit of a seasoned veteran to provide backup support for Jones.

Zappe Fever is over, for now

The identity of this veteran candidate remains an open question. The unexpected turn of events this week marks a sharp contrast to Zappe's earlier achievements, when he secured two wins as a rookie starter, captivating the New England fanbase and sparking a phenomenon known as "Zappe Fever."

Meanwhile, Cunningham displayed versatility by dabbling in both quarterbacking and receiving duties, igniting excitement among Patriots enthusiasts with a rushing touchdown in the preseason opener. Despite their contributions, the Patriots remain unsettled about their quarterback support situation behind Jones.

Cunningham, still acclimating to his New England experience, will continue to operate within the Patriots' framework, albeit in roles of lesser prominence as practice squad members. This transition underscores their commitment to embodying the Patriot Way, even in more subdued capacities.

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