Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is struggling to lift his arm as a result of a right shoulder injury he suffered in Week 2, but the team is pressuring him to be ready for Thursday’s game against the Texans, reports Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. Garoppolo suffered a sprained AC joint Sunday, which caused him to depart in the second quarter of the Patriots’ 31-24 win over the Dolphins. New England has since reminded Garoppolo that suspended starter Tom Brady has played through a similar injury at times during his storied career.
Although Garoppolo participated in practice on a limited basis Tuesday, it’s unrealistic to expect him to play Thursday, notes Howe, but he could still back up rookie Jacoby Brissett. That seems to be what the Patriots are banking on, as they haven’t signed a free agent this week to serve as a reserve behind Brissett – who’s primed to make his first NFL start.
New England auditioned veterans T.J. Yates and Sean Renfree on Tuesday, but the team opted against signing either. If Garoppolo can’t go Thursday, that could leave wide receiver Julian Edelman as Brissett’s backup. Edelman was a quarterback in high school and college, including three years as a starter at Kent State.
Before succumbing to injury, Garoppolo’s career began in outstanding fashion. Filling in for Brady, who will miss two more games thanks to his role in the Deflategate scandal, the 24-year-old Garoppolo completed 42 of 60 passes for 498 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in wins over the Cardinals and Dolphins.
As is the case with Garoppolo, a 2014 second-round pick, Brissett joined the Pats as a relatively high draft selection. The club selected the former North Carolina State passer in the third round, 91st overall, during the spring. He hit on 6 of 9 passes for 92 yards in his debut against the Dolphins, and he’s now set to face the 2-0 Texans and all-world defensive lineman J.J. Watt.
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