The New England Patriots quarterback position is in the safe hands of future Hall of Famer and most accomplished passer of all time: Tom Brady. However, given his four game suspension due to being more probably than not generally aware of the pressure levels inside footballs being allegedly altered by a part-time employee, Brady will have to sit out New England’s first four games of the season.
This, in turn, means that backup Jimmy Garoppolo will play first fiddle to start the 2016 season – and it also means that the Patriots’ coaching staff has to make the two-year veteran ready to perform. Consequently, he saw more reps than usual over the course of training camp and also in last week’s preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints.
Tonight’s week 2 game against the Chicago Bears projects to be more of the same, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport:
From what I understand, #Patriots QB Tom Brady will take little to no snaps tonight vs. the #Bears. All about getting Jimmy Garoppolo ready.
This makes sense from the Patriots’ perspective. Garoppolo has far less experience than Brady and getting game-speed opportunities against various defenses can only help his development and get the 24-year old closer to the ultimate goal of being ready when the games count.
Of course, this does not mean that Brady won’t play tonight. However, it would not be a surprise to see his game look more like last year’s second preseason contest, when he played a mere nine snaps, than 2014’s, when he was on the field for 22 snaps.
[UPDATE 2:34 pm] Tom Brady will play tonight, according to NESN’s Dale Arnold:
Sources: #TomBrady WILL play tonight in @Patriots preseason game against @ChicagoBears. Not sure how much, but he will play.
[UPDATE 2:53 pm] Not only will Brady play tonight, he will start the game, according to Tom Curran:
Brady will start for Patriots in preseason game vs. Bears
[UPDATE 7:35 pm] According to various media reports – and despite Belichick saying otherwise on 98.5 The Sports Hub – Brady will not play today’s game.