The team has activated wide receiver/quarterback Malik Cunningham off the practice squad for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The move was reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter on social media early Saturday afternoon.
With beleaguered starter Mac Jones expected to be benched in favor of backup Bailey Zappe, Cunningham's role against the Chargers on Sunday is uncertain. The undrafted rookie out of Louisville has had scant playing time during his tenure in New England —one in which he was released, only to rejoin the team's practice squad.
He did make three appearances at quarterback for the Pats during the 2023 preseason, completing three of six passes for 19 yards.
The 25-year-old quickly expressed confidence to reporters when they spoke to him Friday. “Yeah, I'm very confident in my game,” Cunningham said, “I feel like my teammates are confident in me, too. I'm confident in those guys. We're all just coming together and trying to get this win this weekend.”
The 2-9 Patriots are in the midst of their worst season in over thirty years, following in the footsteps of their last 2-14 campaign, which happened in 1992. That debacle earned the team the first overall pick in the 1993 NFL Draft, which they used to select quarterback Drew Bledsoe out of Washington State.
The team's horrible season has led many to speculate that this may be the last in New England for future Hall of Fame head coach Bill Belichick, who has won six titles during his two-decade tenure with the club.