New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo reportedly is having trouble lifting his right arm after spraining the AC joint in his right shoulder on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. But seeing as how they’re down to one healthy, non-suspended quarterback, the Patriots would like him to at least be available to play on Thursday night when they host the 2-0 Houston Texans.
And they’ve told him exactly that, using Tom Brady as a shining example of someone who’s played through pain in the past.
“The Patriots are putting pressure on Garoppolo to be ready as quickly as possible, even reminding him Tom Brady played through a similar injury on multiple occasions throughout his career, sources have told the Herald,” Jeff Howe reported Tuesday. “That Garoppolo took part in practice Tuesday, on a limited basis, reinforces how the Patriots have hopes of him playing this week.”
A similar claim was echoed Tuesday by Boston sports-talk radio hosts Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti.
New England Coach Bill Belichick obviously was not going to reveal too much about Garoppolo’s status on Tuesday, because that isn’t his style. But he expressed concern about the health of his starting quarterback, at least publicly.
“A player’s personal situation, his health, always comes first,” Belichick said. “I’m a football coach. I’m not a doctor,” he said. “The medical staff is the medical staff. I coach the team; the medical people handle the injuries. They don’t call plays; I don’t do surgery. We’ve got a great deal there. It works out good.”
Based on just about every report, it seems as if the Patriots will trot out rookie Jacoby Brissett to start on Thursday night, and NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday morning that the team has “done extensive preparation over the past few days to get WR Julian Edelman ready” to be Brissett’s backup. Edelman was a three-year starter at quarterback in college before making the switch to wide receiver in the NFL.
Nevertheless, someone in the Patriots camp seems to be feeding the Boston media stories about the team pressuring Garoppolo to at least suit up on Thursday even with his painful injury, and they’re using the ghost of Tom Brady to do it. Whether this is a deliberate attempt to confuse the Texans or merely someone furthering some kind of obtuse agenda, it’s just an unseemly way to go about it.