With only four days to get ready for a Week Three game against the Texans and only one healthy quarterback, the Patriots decided not to sign an available veteran. With 10 days between Week Three and Week Four games and possibly no healthy quarterbacks, the Patriots may still not sign another quarterback as they prepare to face the Bills.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Patriots will add a quarterback only as a last resort. For now, the focus is on rehabbing Jimmy Garoppolo’s shoulder injury and Jacoby Brissett’s thumb injury.
If as of Monday the Patriots firmly believe that neither player will be ready, they could decide to add a quarterback. Last week, T.J. Yates had a tryout, and Sean Renfree visited.
The Patriots are reluctant to add a quarterback because they’d be required to cut a player on the 53-man roster. If the player have fewer than four years of service, he’d be exposed to waivers. A vested veteran would be free to sign with another team.
So would New England run the risk of actually having to use Julian Edelman as the starter on Sunday? Perhaps. He knows the offense better than Yates or Renfree or any other free agent would, and Edelman played quarterback at Kent State.
The Patriots also have another player whom they believe would be able to take snaps, if need be. While the team is being characteristically tight lipped about who that would be, the smart money is on second-year tight end A.J. Derby, a sixth-round pick in 2015 who played quarterback at Iowa, Coffeyville Community College, and Arkansas.
Based on the manner in which the Patriots got Brissett ready to play quarterback in four days, don’t be shocked if they decide to start getting Edelman ready in the event that neither Garoppolo nor Brissett will be able to play in what will be the last game before Tom Brady’s suspension ends.
Whatever happens, coach Bill Belichick surely has a plan. And it would be unwise to assume his plan won’t work.