We’re two weeks into the NFL preseason, and Tom Brady has yet to see his first game action.
Brady sat out each of the New England Patriots’ first two preseason games, as did nearly all of the team’s starters on both sides of the ball.
Asked why the 42-year-old quarterback did not play in Saturday’s 22-17 win over the Tennessee Titans, Patriots coach Bill Belichick pointed to the need to evaluate the entire 90-man roster. Brady and the starters took the majority of reps during the team’s two joint practices with the Titans.
“You have 90 players,” Belichick said Monday on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria.: “You can’t play all 90 players in the game. And honestly, it’s just as hard to practice all 90 players and get what you need out of it in practice against another team. So we practiced some players a lot, and they didn’t play a lot or didn’t play at all in the game. And then there’s another group of players that didn’t practice as much — that practiced some, but not nearly as much as the other group — and they played a lot in the game.
“So I think at the end of the week, each guy got a lot of work. It might have been at practice; it might have been in the game. But it was really the idea of trying to take a look at everybody and give everybody an opportunity to compete, all against Tennessee but in different formats.”
The Titans played their starters for two series before inserting their reserves.
The Patriots also participated in joint practices with the Detroit Lions ahead of their preseason opener. With no more shared sessions on the schedule, Brady and the rest of the first-teamers are expected to start Thursday’s exhibition matchup against the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium.