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I don’t like the Patriots mind games with QB Jimmy Garoppolo

The way the Patriots are treating their young quarterback makes me feel uneasy.

I want New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo to be able to play this Thursday against the Houston Texans, but the more I hear about Garoppolo’s shoulder, the less comfortable I feel with the situation.

Apparently, sources, undoubtedly from the Patriots, were speaking with talk radio hosts Felger & Mazz, saying that QB Tom Brady has played through these same types of injuries at least four times before, and sources have relayed the same story to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.

“The Patriots are putting pressure on Garoppolo to be ready as quickly as possible,” Howe reports, “even reminding him Tom Brady played through a similar injury on multiple occasions throughout his career, sources have told the Herald. That Garoppolo took part in practice Tuesday, on a limited basis, reinforces how the Patriots have hopes of him playing this week.

“Garoppolo is still struggling to lift his right arm, so it is unrealistic to believe he’ll be ready to perform effectively against the Texans, who are ranked third in both points and yards allowed through two weeks.”

This doesn’t sit well with me. If Garoppolo can’t lift his arm, he can’t play. I don’t think Bill Belichick himself is actively negging Garoppolo by saying, “well, Tom would play,” because it’s not his choice...

“I'm a football coach. I'm not a doctor,” Belichick said on Tuesday. “The medical staff is the medical staff. I coach the team; the medical people handle the injuries. They don't call plays; I don't do surgery. We've got a great deal there. It works out good.”

...but someone, somewhere is releasing these stories to put some pressure on Garoppolo’s camp so he feels like he has to play.

And I get that playing through injuries is an important part of football. Some call it tough, some call it dumb, and some players have their livelihoods at stake if they don’t play and their back-up takes their job. I just have a hard time decrying the NFL’s obvious abuse of head injuries on one hand, and then applauding a team for injecting Garoppolo’s shoulder full of drugs so he can take the field.

Head injuries and shoulder injuries aren’t the same, sure, but they stem from the same problem.

All reports seem to point towards Garoppolo not being ready this week, but that a week 4 return is extremely reasonable. Jacoby Brissett was drafted for this specific reason and he, with his Bill Parcells-created One Snap moniker, can serve as a band-aid for one week. Let Garoppolo go through a week of rehab so he doesn’t further injure himself- or, best case scenario he’s actually ready to play on Thursday and he can suit up.

But don’t put Garoppolo on blast just because Brady Did It. Unless someone from Brady’s camp is the source of these reports- and, let’s be serious, he does have some time on his hands- they have to be coming from the Patriots. Applying that sort of pressure on a player doesn’t sit well with me at all.