When the Patriots signed former Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham as an undrafted free agent, it was expected that he would have to move to wide receiver to make the roster, and that’s where he practiced most of the offseason. But with the preseason opener Thursday, Cunningham returned to practice, and played well.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said after the game that he liked what he saw from Cunningham at quarterback after he completed three of four passes for 19 yards and also ran the ball five times for 34 yards, including Patriots’ only touchdown in their 20-9. loss to the Texans.
“He did a great job, showed strength there, some toughness, transitioned with the team, did a great job,” Belichick said.
Belichick said the Patriots are evaluating Cunningham as a receiver and quarterback.
“He’s worked in both areas. That’s his opportunity and he’s done a great job of it. He’s embraced it, he’s worked hard, he’s gotten better as a receiver, and the snaps he’s had he’s on the quarterbacks and tonight he did a great job of it,” Belichick said.
In fact, if Cunningham can make the roster, it will be by showing promise as a wide receiver and on special teams. But anything he can show the quarterback is a nice bonus and an opportunity to get the No. 3 spot on the depth chart behind Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe.