Patriots to host Lions in battle of injury-riddled, three-loss teams

If there’s any such thing as a good loss, the New England Patriots had one last weekend.However, even the best of losses doesn’t come close to the worst of wins, so the Patriots will be looking to get back on track on Sunday when they face the Detroit Lions in Foxborough, Mass.New England (1-3) put up a valiant effort in enemy territory against the Green Bay Packers last Sunday. The Patriots were without starting quarterback Mac Jones due to an ankle injury, and backup Brian Hoyer exited the game in the first quarter after slamming his head against the turf.Rookie Bailey Zappe was forced to take over, and, in his NFL debut, gave New England a fighting chance, helping the Patriots to a seven-point lead with just over 11 minutes left to play.But the more experienced quarterback prevailed, as Aaron Rodgers and the Packers squeaked out a 27-24 win in overtime.Now Zappe might find himself starting against the Lions, and if he does, New England coach Bill Belichick said he’ll be ready to go.”I think we all know what a backup quarterback’s potential job and role is. Bailey knows it, we know it and everybody that plays that position knows it,” Belichick said. “He stepped in, he was well prepared and I thought generally, he handled himself well.”Jones’ return isn’t completely out of the question, as he was limited in practice on Wednesday and NFL Network also reported that he was going to “push to play.” Hoyer, however, did not practice.Belichick wouldn’t give away any of his cards, though.”We’ll see,” he said when asked about the quarterback situation. “Just take it day to day.”Much like the Patriots, Detroit (1-3) wasn’t able to overcome injuries to key offensive weapons last week, either.The Lions were without receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and running back D’Andre Swift, who could have been the difference had they played in the 48-45 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.Both St. Brown (ankle) and Swift (shoulder/ankle) missed Wednesday’s practice.

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