The 3-0 New England Patriots face the 1-2 Buffalo Bills today in the last game without starting quarterback Tom Brady. The question who will start the game in Brady’s final absence was the main storyline this week, as both third-year veteran Jimmy Garoppolo or rookie Jacoby Brissett are battling injuries.
As earlier reported, Brissett will get the start – while Garoppolo will not even be active for today’s game:
Garoppolo missing his second straight game – thus making Julian Edelman the backup quarterback once again – is the biggest storyline of the day, but others are important to note as well.
Starting linebacker Dont’a Hightower will be active after missing weeks 2 and 3 due to a knee injury he suffered in the season opener. Hightower is the defensive signal caller and his return, even if it is just in a limited role, will definitely improve the Patriots defense as it tries to slow down the Bills and their mobile quarterback, Tyrod Taylor.
Another interesting story: new acquisition and former defensive lineman Greg Scruggs is listed as a tight end on the inactives list. This shows that the team does indeed view him as a depth option at tight end and not, as has been speculated, defensive tackle.
Given that Tom Brady and linebacker Rob Ninkovich return from their respective suspensions after this week, healthy scratches Elandon Roberts, D.J. Foster, LaAdrian Waddle and Scruggs seems like logical options to be let go in order to make room for the two returning starters. As of right now, it would be a surprise if the two transactions did not involve two of those four players.
After having placed Sammy Watkins on injured reserve, the team will also miss depth wideouts Greg Salas and Justin Hunter as well as dangerous pass-catching running back Reggie Bush.