FOXBORO, Mass. — Bill Belichick chose not to divulge the reason New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did not play in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Chicago Bears.
“I made a decision before the game to play Jimmy (Garoppolo) and Jacoby (Brissett),” the Patriots head coach said after the game, which the Patriots won 23-22 at Gillette Stadium.
Belichick had said in a pregame interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub that all three Patriots quarterbacks — Brady, Garoppolo and Brissett — would play against the Bears. Brady didn’t take the field for warmups, however, and left the stadium before kickoff, reportedly after cutting his throwing hand with a pair of scissors.
When asked about these reports, Belichick simply said he “made the decision for (Brady) not to play (Thursday night).”
Garoppolo started in Brady’s place and played well, completing 16 of 21 passes for 181 yards and throwing his first touchdown pass of the preseason. The third-year pro said he found out “literally right before the game” that he would start.
“It was pretty sudden,” Garoppolo said.
Garoppolo played the first two quarters and the first series of the second half before giving way to Brissett, who went 9 of 13 for 87 yards in his second taste of NFL action.
Belichick also declined to expound on defensive tackle Alan Branch’s absence Thursday night, calling it “a club matter.” Sources told NESN.com’s Doug Kyed that Branch informed teammates he had been suspended.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images