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Jimmy Garoppolo to Start Tonight vs. Panthers

Jimmy Garoppolo, not Tom Brady, will be starting tonight against the Panthers.

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots intend to start Jimmy Garoppolo in tonight's preseason matchup against the Carolina Panthers, per ESPN's Mike Reiss.

This isn't overly surprising news, as Week 3 of the preseason is traditionally the one that gets treated most like regular season action, with the starters playing into the 2nd half. Furthermore, unlike Chicago and New Orleans, Carolina represents a true defensive test, which will further prepare Garopollo for his Week 1 start against another great D in the Arizona Cardinals.

I can't imagine that Tommy B is overly happy about having to come in to spell the starting QB, but them's the breaks. It will be interesting to see how the two quarterbacks split reps with the first team, and how Garoppolo looks against a stronger defensive front. His slow starts have been a consistent source of criticism at this early stage, so here's hoping that Jimmy G comes out swinging.