Questionable decision made by Bill Belichick before the Patriots take on the Raiders

Houston Texans v New England Patriots
Houston Texans v New England Patriots / Omar Rawlings/GettyImages

As the Patriots took the field for warmups before their game with the Raiders on Sunday, it was revealed that backup quarterback Bailey Zappe would be inactive, making rookie Malik Cunningham the go-to guy in case Mac Jones is pulled once again.

Although that wasn't shocking after the news of Cunningham's signing to the game-day roster over the weekend, the way warmups unfolded created a lot of confusion regarding Bill Belichick's decisions come game time.

Because he has been the backup for the season thus far, it was expected that Zappe would remain the QB2 for today's game. Even if the Patriots chose to go with Cunningham instead if needed, the assumption was that Zappe would be available regardless.

That doesn't appear to be the situation since he was listed as inactive. But it also doesn't look like Cunningham is being treated as the backup, either.

Multiple Patriots reporters noted that the rookie did not take a single warmup snap with Jones and was only seen preparing with special team returners. If he is going to be the backup for the game, why would he not get a single snap alongside Jones after he had limited playing time at the position during the preseason?

It's another bizarre decision by Belichick that will hopefully not become more significant during the game. Of course, the main focus is likely to expect that Jones will be able to remain in the game for the entire 60 minutes, but since that hasn't been the case in the last two weeks, it makes no sense that Cunningham wouldn't get warmed up with him.

It's possible he will be used in various ways, as the Patriots have experimented with Cunningham as a receiver, returner, and quarterback. Even if that is the changes Belichick mentioned last week, it doesn't seem ideal, especially with Zappe no longer being an option.