What Jarrett Stidham’s Back Surgery Means For Patriots’ QB Battle

Stidham reportedly is expected to miss 12 weeks


Jul 30, 2021

The injury that has prevented Jarrett Stidham from taking part in New England Patriots training camp will sideline the third-year quarterback for the foreseeable future.

Stidham underwent back surgery this week and is expected to miss roughly 12 weeks, according to a report Friday from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. That timeline would sideline him until late October.

Fellow Patriots quarterback Cam Newton alluded to Stidham’s procedure after Friday’s practice.

“Shoutout to (Stidham),” Newton said. “Hopefully everything went good for him.”

Stidham, who was a full participant in mandatory minicamp last month, was viewed as a long shot to win New England’s starting QB job. Newton and first-round draft pick Mac Jones are the primary contenders in that roster battle, with Brian Hoyer and Jake Dolegala rounding out the depth chart.

The Patriots claimed Dolegala off waivers from the Green Bay Packers earlier this week.

“We just thought it would be good to have another quarterback actively participating in camp,” head coach Bill Belichick said Thursday. “Jarrett Stidham will miss a little time, so we brought Jake in here.”

Stidham’s extended absence should clear Hoyer’s path to a roster spot if the Patriots opt to carry three quarterbacks. The 35-year-old journeyman would be a valuable mentor to Jones, who’s entering his first NFL season.

A hip injury early in last year’s training camp derailed Stidham’s chances of legitimately challenging Newton for the starting job following Tom Brady’s departure. The 2019 fourth-round draft pick wound up appearing in five games, all in relief, and completing 22 of 44 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions.

Stidham impressed at times in spring practice and garnered praise from Patriots owner Robert Kraft after organizing a West Coast passing camp that many of New England’s receivers and tight ends attended.

“I think he’s a great young man, and I know that he’s eager to compete and look for an opportunity to play,” Kraft said in March. “… And I’m not sure he’s really been tested. I’m a big fan of his.”

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images
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