When the Patriots signed former Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham as an undrafted free agent, he was expected to have to switch to wide receiver to make the roster, and that’s where he’s been practicing for most of the offseason. But in Thursday’s preseason opener, Cunningham was back at practice, and playing well.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said after the game that he liked what he saw of Cunningham at quarterback after he completed three of four passes for 19 yards and also ran the ball five times for 34 yards, including the Patriots’ only touchdown of their 20-9 loss to the Texans.
“He did a nice job, showed some poise out there, some toughness, moved the team, did a nice job,” Belichick said.
Belichick said the Patriots are evaluating Cunningham as both a receiver and a quarterback.
“He’s been working both spots. That’s his opportunity and he’s done a good job with it. He’s embraced it, he’s worked hard, he’s improved a lot as a receiver, and the snaps he’s had at quarterbacks and tonight he’s done a good job with it,” Belichick said.
Realistically, if Cunningham makes the roster at all, it will be by showing promise as a wide receiver and on special teams. But anything he can show at quarterback is a nice bonus and an opportunity to earn the No. 3 spot on the depth chart behind Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe.
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