FOXBORO, Mass. — And then there was one.
The New England Patriots already started the season behind the eight ball at quarterback with Tom Brady missing the first four weeks due to suspension. They took another hit at the position Sunday when Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a right shoulder injury against the Miami Dolphins that knocked him out for the remainder of the game.
That left only third-string rookie Jacoby Brissett, who took over for Garoppolo, on New England’s QB depth chart (along with emergency backup Julian Edelman).
The severity of Garoppolo’s injury is unknown, but needless to say, the Patriots need to explore other options at quarterback for Weeks 3 and 4. So, who is still on the market? Here are the top free agent QBs currently without a job whom New England could target as an emergency fill-in:
Matt Flynn: Spent last year’s training camp with the Patriots to provide depth in case Brady’s suspension went into effect.
T.J. Yates: Appeared in four regular season games for the Houston Texans last season, going 2-0 as as starter.
Ryan Lindley: Spent the 2015 preseason in New England; last started a game in 2014 for the Arizona Cardinals.
Mike Vick: Played five games for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2015, going 2-1 as a starter filling in for Ben Roethlisberger.
Tarvaris Jackson: Went 7-7 as a starter for the Seattle Seahawks in 2011 in his last legitimate playing time.
Charlie Whitehurst: A career backup who last saw time with the Indianapolis Colts in 2015, completing 16 of 32 passes for 150 yards in limited action.
Jimmy Clausen: Last played for the Baltimore Ravens in 2015 and has seven career touchdown passes to 14 interceptions.
Josh Johnson: Has been on six teams in the last five years, last making an NFL start for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2013.
Sean Renfree: Spent three seasons as Matt Ryan’s backup with the Atlanta Falcons before being waived by the team in late August.
Johnny Manziel: You know the drill.
Tim Tebow: Just kidding.
Yates appears like the most viable option of the group, having recently spent time in a system led by Texans head coach and former Patriots QB coach Bill O’Brien. But Flynn and Lindley both have history with New England, and Vick still might have some legs in him.
Just be glad Brady comes back in Week 5, Patriots fans.
Thumbnail photo via Thomas J. Russo/USA TODAY Sports Images