FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots’ decision to activate rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett off injured reserve has been met with mixed reviews.
Brissett was placed on injured reserve in October with a thumb injury when Tom Brady was activated from a four-game suspension. The Patriots had to waive rookie defensive tackle Woodrow Hamilton to activate Brissett, giving the Patriots three quarterbacks, including Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo, while they usually only have two at this time of year.
Belichick explained his decision to activate Brissett on Thursday.
“I think practice helps everybody,” Belichick said. “That’s why we do it. But the most important thing for us is to win. That’s what we’re here for. He gives us depth at a position that’s an important position. I don’t know.
“Nobody needs insurance until you need insurance. I don’t know if we’re going to need, I don’t know if we’re not going to need it. At least he knows our system. He’s played there. It’s an important position. I don’t think you want to be bringing a guy onto the team in the postseason who hasn’t been with you all year, which is where we would be if we only had two quarterbacks. Sometimes that’s where you are. This year, we had an option, so that’s what we did.”
Brissett started two games for the Patriots and led them to a 1-1 record. His thumb injury hampered his performance in a 16-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 4. Brissett has to regain some ground he lost while out with the injury.
“Jacoby got better every day for several months,” Belichick said. “He didn’t miss anything in terms of meetings or preparation, traveled with us on the road and so forth. He just wasn’t able to do much. Now that he’s come back, he’s working his way back in.
“You don’t just pick up where you left off without having an opportunity to have the timing with all those plays and just being able to throw the ball for a couple of months or however long he wasn’t able to do it — six weeks, whatever it was. I can’t remember. It was a significant amount of time, so all that’s coming back, but it’s not like training camp where you’re out there pretty much every day. We only practice call it three times a week. Just less of what he needs, but other guys are at a different point in the season, so have to try to manage the team. He’s making progress, he’s coming. Just do the best we can. We’re limited in some ways.”
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images