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Report: Patriots QB Tom Brady travels with the team to Carolina

The Patriots quarterback could play for the first time this preseason.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has not played in a preseason game this year and, if he doesn’t suit up this week against the Carolina Panthers, he probably won’t play until week 5 in the regular season against the Cleveland Browns.

Signs are pointing towards Brady playing this week, per the Herald’s Jeff Howe.

I have a hard time imagining that head coach Bill Belichick would drag Brady all the way down to Charlotte, North Carolina in August and not play him. Brady will probably play in his only live action of the preseason.

The big question is how much will he play, and at what stage in the game?

Will Brady start the game? I think he might, although head coach Bill Belichick has repeated multiple times that the priority of this preseason has been to get Jimmy Garoppolo ready for the regular season. Perhaps Belichick will want Garoppolo to face the best defensive test possible to prepare him for the Cardinals in week 1.

Or will Brady play just a couple drives? This is also possible. He could suit up for the first quarter and hand the steering wheel over to Garoppolo in the second and third quarters, both likely against the Panthers top defensive unit.

It’s also possible that Belichick would start Garoppolo, throw Brady on the field for a few snaps in the middle of the game, and then put Garoppolo back on the field to start the second half.

The speculation is endless!

But whatever the decision, Brady is with the team in Carolina and he really, really wants to play. He’s one step closer to taking the field.