FOXBORO, Mass. — Perhaps the New England Patriots do have a quarterback controversy.

Sorry, backup quarterback controversy, that is.

Tom Brady started the Patriots’ third preseason game against the Carolina Panthers and stayed in for three series and a touchdown. Rookie Jarrett Stidham entered the game to replace Brady instead of veteran Brian Hoyer, however.

Brady went 8-of-12 for 75 yards in just over 22 minutes of action.

Stidham has been impressive this summer, though he did get off to a shaky start in the Patriots’ second preseason game last week, almost throwing a pick-six. Stidham rebounded, however, and threw a pretty go-head touchdown pass to Damoun Patterson in the fourth quarter.

Hoyer has been the Patriots’ backup since New England traded Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers midway through the 2017 season. The Patriots typically prefer to keep just two quarterbacks, and Brady and Stidham are locks for the 53-man roster.

We’re not reading into this too deeply just yet, but it does make you go, “hmm.”

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images