The Patriots officially have listed quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as doubtful for Thursday night’s game against the Texans, a category that as revised for 2016 puts his availability in the fairly wide range of 49.9 percent to 0.1 percent. (Prior to this season, “doubtful” meant that the player had a 25-percent chance of playing.)
It appears that Garoppolo is much closer to 0.1 than 49.9.
Tom Curran of CSN New England reports that Garoppolo has a Grade 2 AC joint injury, a shoulder problem that typically entails a 2-4 week absence. Which means that Garoppolo won’t be able to actually play only four days after the injury.
This means that rookie Jacoby Brissett will indeed play tonight. As we’ve said all week on PFT Live, don’t be surprised if Garoppolo dresses, with the idea that he’d hand off only, if Brissett gets injured. Or throw left handed. (I’m kidding, I think.)
As former NFL head coach and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride explained on Thursday’s PFT Live, don’t be surprised if the Patriots use a no-huddle attack, in order to choke off Houston’s ability to make substitutions and to give Brissett extra time to survey the Texans defense in its pre-snap alignment. With the coach-to-quarterback communication cutting off at 15 seconds, a no-huddle approach would give the coaches extra time to help Brissett pick the best play based upon what they are seeing on the other side of the ball.