Patriots Quarterback Jacoby Brissett Suffers Sprained Thumb In First NFL Start
While making his first career NFL start on Thursday night, New England Patriots quarterback Jacoby Brissett suffered a sprained thumb. Brissett did not leave Thursday’s win over the Houston Texans, as the Inquisitr previously reported, the injury did not prevent Brissett and the Patriots from crushing the Texans 27-0. However, USA Today is one of several outlets reporting that Brissett has a torn ligament in his right thumb and will require surgery, citing WEEI Radio in Boston.
— ESPN (@espn) September 23, 2016
This is the second straight game that New England’s starting quarterback suffered an injury, creating uncertainty as to who will start for the Patriots next week. Jimmy Garoppolo started the first two weeks of the season, but he suffered a shoulder injury during a Week 2 win over the Miami Dolphins, prompting the Patriots to finish the game with Brissett, a rookie from N.C. State, playing quarterback.
With Garoppolo unable to make it back in time for Thursday’s showdown with the Texans, Brissett made his first NFL start. Against Houston, Brissett completed 11 of 19 passes for 103 yards, as the Patriots chose to lean on running back LeGarrette Blount, who carried the ball 24 times for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Brissett also made an impact as a runner, rushing eight times for 48 yards and a touchdown.
Of course, Garoppolo and Brissett are merely placeholders for Tom Brady, who is suspended for the first four games of the season because of the “Deflategate” scandal. New England planned on Garoppolo starting the first four games of the season before turning the reins back over to Brady, but injuries to both Garoppolo and Brissett have thrown the Patriots for a loop.
The status of both Garoppolo and Brissett for Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills, the last game the Patriots will be without Brady, is uncertain at this time. If the report that Brissett will need surgery is true, he could be on the shelf for quite a while, and it’s possible that his rookie season could be over. There is also uncertainty over how quickly Garoppolo is recovering from the sprained AC joint in his right shoulder that he suffered in Week 2.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter spoke with a source inside the Patriots’ organization who told him that the team would re-evaluate their quarterback situation on Monday. This leaves us all weekend to speculate on what direction the Patriots may go and who may start for them in Week 4 against the Bills.
If Garoppolo is deemed healthy between now and next weekend, he’s likely to be the starter in Week 4. Yet, even if that’s the case, the Patriots may be looking to sign a backup quarterback. Brissett could end up being placed on injured reserve, as he won’t be the starter or backup once Brady returns, even if he’s healthy.
The Patriots were actually in the same position after Garoppolo got hurt in Week 2. However, with a quick turnaround before Thursday’s game, New England chose not to sign a quarterback and instead have wide receiver Julian Edelman, who played quarterback in college, serve as Brissett’s backup against the Texans. Had his thumb injury forced Brissett to the sidelines during Thursday’s game, Edelman would have been New England’s quarterback.
However, with more than a week until their next game, the Patriots will almost certainly look at the quarterbacks available on the free-agent market, especially since there’s no guarantee that Garoppolo will be ready to start in Week 4 or even be healthy enough to serve as Brady’s backup starting in Week 5.
Michael Vick may be the most prominent name among active quarterbacks who are currently unemployed. Matt Flynn and Ryan Lindley are also options, as both spent part of the 2015 preseason with the Patriots and have at least some familiarity with the organization. Down on the list are the likes of T.J. Yates, Tarvaris Jackson, and Josh Freeman. Of course, there’s a chance any of these quarterbacks would be released by the Patriots as soon as Brady is back from suspension, which could make them think twice before signing with the Patriots.
The Inquisitr mentioned last week that Peyton Manning could come out of retirement and sign with the Patriots. Admittedly, that idea sounds a bit far-fetched, as does any talk of Tim Tebow signing with the Patriots, especially since Tebow is now pursuing a baseball career with the New York Mets.
Of course, with Brady suspended for one more game, Brissett likely ruled out for the foreseeable future, and Garoppolo’s status a mystery, the Patriots will have to find someone to play quarterback. Who that quarterback ends up being is anybody’s guess at this point. But with Garoppolo and Brissett both hurt, the Patriots have no choice but to go to Plan D at quarterback. It should be fascinating to see who the Patriots end up signing to be their last-resort option amidst a growing sea of injured and suspended quarterbacks.
[Featured Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]