Patriots waive 3rd-string QB Will Grier, sign OT Conor McDermott to 53-man roster

FOXBORO, Mass — After a week of practice in which Patriots players admitted even they had no idea who would start at Qb against the New York Giants on Sunday, fans can scratch one name from the pool.

The New England Patriots waived third-string QB Will Grier on Saturday, the team announced. The move opened up a roster spot to sign offensive tackle Conor McDermott to the 53-man active roster.

Grier was signed off the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad on September 23rd. Despite New England’s struggle to get production out of the QB position this season, Grier has yet to see live game action and had been firmly planted behind starter Mac Jones and backup QB Bailey Zappe on the depth chart.

New England had to clear a roster spot to elevate McDermott to the active roster because the team had already used its three free practice squad elevations for the 6-year NFL veteran. McDermott has shored up the right side of New England’s offensive line when called upon as the Patriots deal with injuries to Calvin Anderson, Tyrone Wheatley and Riley Reiff.

On Friday, just two days before Sunday’s game against the Giants, coach Bill Belichick refused to say whether Mac Jones would be benched for Zappe.

Jones was pulled during the final two minutes of a 10-6 loss to the Colts that carried the Patriots into their bye week. A 2021 first-round pick, Jones has been removed from games on three separate occasions; the first two were on the wrong end of a blowout.

But Zappe was brought into the Colts game when New England still had a chance to win, after Jones threw his 10th interception of the season. Asked on Wednesday if he was still the starter, Jones said “hope so” and “that’s the plan.”

Zappe also revealed little when the media surrounded his locker room following Friday’s practice.

“He (Belichick) makes those decisions,” he said. “I just play football.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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