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The New England Patriots are going into their Week 3 game against the Houston Texans with a wacky game plan that only the Patriots would attempt to pull off.
With Jimmy Garoppolo listed as “doubtful” with a shoulder injury and Tom Brady still suspended, it appears wide receiver Julian Edelman will be the Patriots backup behind rookie Jacoby Brissett.
On Wednesday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Patriots had done “extensive preparation” in getting Edelman ready to run the offense in the event that Brissett goes down. Rapoport later followed up, saying that with Garoppolo officially listed as doubtful, then Edelman is the next in line.
Edelman played quarterback for Kent State in college, but switched to wide receiver upon entering the NFL. Though he’s never thrown a regular-season pass in the NFL, much less run an offense, he has thrown a completion in the postseason – for a touchdown.
According to reports, the Patriots brought in quarterbacks to work out earlier this week, but they all left unsigned. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported earlier in the week that the Patriots didn’t have plans to bring sign another quarterback last minute, which helped fuel speculation that Edelman may actually have a role as QB if necessary.
When asked about the possibility of playing quarterback last Sunday, Edelman said, “I play receiver for a reason.” However, his buddy Tom Brady, during an interview with Westwood One Radio, gave a more positive assessment, saying he would expect Edelman to be the backup if Brissett were to get hurt. He also claimed that Edelman threw the ball better than him in his lone postseason throw.
When asked if Edelman could play quarterback, Bill Belichick glowingly said, “I don’t know.”
Consider that the Browns, who are also down two quarterbacks, are in a similar position. Rookie quarterback Cody Kessler is expected to be the starter, and even if with quarterback-turned-wide-receiver Terrelle Pryor on the roster, the Browns opted to sign free agent Charlie Whitehurst as a backup plan.
Brissett will be the starter and would presumably remain the quarterback as long as he’s healthy. However, things can change quickly during an NFL game, and if Brissett needs to come out for some reason, we could see Edelman get his shot at running the Patriots offense.