Report: Ryan Mallett To Start Patriots’ Preseason Opener; Tom Brady To Sit

NFL: AFC Championship-New England Patriots at Denver BroncosAs he’s done three times in the past, Tom Brady will watch the New England Patriots’ 2014 preseason opener from the bench.

Instead, backup quarterback Ryan Mallett will get the start Thursday night against the Washington Redskins, a source told the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe.

Brady apparently showed the Patriots brass more than enough during this week of joint practices, completing 60 of 80 passes in drills against the Redskins’ defense. He previously sat out the first preseason game in 2005, 2008 and 2011.

The decision to have Mallett start could also be an effort to showcase the strong-armed Arkansas product for a potential trade, which has been speculated since the Patriots drafted quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round back in May. Even if Brady had played, though, it would likely have been for only a series or two, with the bulk of the time under center being given to Mallett and Garoppolo.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to be able to play a lot,” Mallett said after Wednesday’s practice, via the Herald. “I haven’t really gotten too many chances during the regular season because I have a pretty good guy in front of me. Any time I get to play, I look forward to it.”

Mallett has thrown just four regular-season passes in his three-year NFL career, completing one.

Photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images

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