FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Mac Jones didn’t have any answers about who the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback will be against the New York Giants on Sunday, either.

A day after Patriots coach Bill Belichick stonewalled in his media availability about whether Jones would be benched, the 2021 first-round draft pick said he is preparing as if he will start, even though the coaches appear to be undecided.

“Hope so. I mean, that’s the plan,” Jones said when asked directly if he will start. “A lot of that decision-making is things I can’t control, but I can control my attitude and my effort.”

Just as Belichick repeatedly fell back on “everybody needs to be ready to go” in his availability on Tuesday, Jones pulled out the standby, “I’m focusing on what I can control.” The third-year quarterback said the word “control” 13 times during his 8 minute, 23 second media availability on Wednesday; Belichick dropped “ready” 14 times on Tuesday in 8:21.

“We’ve had good conversations,” Jones said. “Really what I’ve been focusing on is what I can control. Put a lot of thought into that, the things that I can control. … That’s what I can do, control what I can control.”

Jones, who went for X-rays for an undisclosed injury after the 10-6 loss to Indianapolis in Germany on Nov. 12, also said that he had some bumps and bruises but isn’t limited in participation coming out of the week off.

“I have things that I’m working through; everybody does. You’re playing NFL games every week. Every week’s a car crash in its own way, so you’re trying to get back from that,” he said. “The bye week definitely helped get the body back, and I’m looking forward to finishing this thing strong.”

Jones has started each of the first 10 games this season, but he has been pulled three times – twice for blowouts and once, in the Week 10 loss to the Colts, after throwing a fourth-quarter interception near the end zone. With a chance to rally the Patriots, Bailey Zappe was 3 of 7 for 25 yards and finished by throwing an interception on a fake-spike play to seal the game.

Zappe, a fourth-round draft pick in 2022, appeared in four games, starting two — both wins — last season. The Patriots also have Will Grier, who started three games for Carolina in 2019, on the roster and rookie Malik Cunningham on the practice squad.

Earlier this week, offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien said Jones, Zappe and Grier all took reps in practice with the first team during the off week. Jones said he wouldn’t let that derail him.

“You take advantage of the reps you’ve had, right?” he said. “I’ve played a good amount of snaps in the NFL, I feel confident that I can go out there, feel prepared based on my preparation, film study and all those things.”

Jones said he learned from watching the quarterback competition at Alabama, when Tua Tagovailoa won the starting job and Jalen Hurts transferred to Oklahoma. Jones took over as the starter when Tagovailoa was injured late in 2019 season, and then he led the Crimson Tide to the national championship the next year.

“I witnessed everything. I heard every conversation, watched everything, watched every move between each guy,” Jones said. “So I learned a lot about both of them, and I learned a lot about myself, too, just trying to learn from their situation, and talking with Jalen, Tua, and having those friendships is always good.”

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