Starters rarely get a significant number of snaps in Week 4 of the NFL preseason, and it sounds like this Thursday’s New England Patriots-New York Giants game will follow that same trend.
Starting quarterback Tom Brady and “virtually every prominent Patriots veteran” are expected to sit out New England’s preseason finale, a source told Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald on Wednesday.
Brady was mostly excellent last Friday during his longest outing of the exhibition season, completing 12 of 15 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns with one interception against the Detroit Lions before heading to the bench shortly before halftime.
Jimmy Garoppolo handled quarterbacking duties in the second half against Detroit, and he might not see the field at all against the Giants. Barring a late change, third-stringer Jacoby Brissett is expected to start under center Thursday night, per Howe’s source.
“With preseason playing time, it’s always important to point out that Bill Belichick could change his mind the day of the game,” Howe wrote Wednesday afternoon. “It’s possible Belichick could pull a last-minute switch to Jimmy Garoppolo to keep him on his toes because such is life for backup quarterbacks. But again, that’s not the expectation at this point.”
With the veterans taking the night off, players on the roster bubble will take center stage at Gillette Stadium in the Patriots’ final tune-up before Week 1. Several spots on their 53-man roster remain unsettled.
Brissett is one of those players, as the Patriots could decide to keep just two quarterbacks after carrying three last season.
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