Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said Monday morning the New England Patriots are trying to determine how to proceed at quarterback after Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a right shoulder injury.
The Patriots are down to rookie Jacoby Brissett as the only other quarterback on the active 53-man roster with Garoppolo suffering a sprained right AC joint in his right shoulder in Sunday’s 31-24 win against the Miami Dolphins.
“I’m not sure exactly what the situation is going to be, I think a lot of that will be determined later today relative to Jimmy’s whole situation and what it’s going to be. I’m sure if he can’t play or back up, then we’ll be going through that process today,” McDaniels said on sports radio WEEI’s “Kirk and Callahan Show.”
“I haven’t heard anything yet this morning exactly what that’s going to be, but I’m sure we’ll be on that quick. It’s a short week, we’re going to have work hard to get somebody ready to go in case that does happen, if that situation does come up, we’ll have somebody ready to roll.”
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The Patriots have no plans at this time to add another quarterback before Thursday night’s home game against the Houston Texans on a short week of preparation, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Although it may be a longshot, Garoppolo could still dress for the game as a No. 2 emergency option and run a limited portion of the offense if needed, according to ESPN.
Julian Edelman, who played quarterback at Kent State before switching to receiver when the Patriots drafted him in 2009, would likely be the other emergency option.
Garoppolo was knocked out of Sunday’s home opener in the second quarter after taking a hard hit from Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso and landing on his right throwing shoulder.
Garoppolo, starting his second straight game for the suspended Tom Brady, had already thrown three touchdown passes when he was injured. Garoppolo will be assessed day-to-day.
Brissett, who was taken in the third round out of North Carolina State, made his NFL debut and led the Patriots on a touchdown drive on the first drive of the second half, with LeGarrette Blount scoring on 9-yard touchdown run.
McDaniels praised Brissett, who was 6-of-9 passing for 92 yards, on his approach.
“Jacoby is really a calm individual,” McDaniels said on WEEI. “He’s been that way since we brought him in for his interview and we tried to put him under pressure when we first brought him in here before the draft, and he didn’t flinch then. He’s a guy that is very difficult to fluster.
“He’s young, he doesn’t have much experience obviously, and he’s learning every week and every day. But I thought his poise and composure yesterday showed. I didn’t feel like he was rattled on the sideline when it was his opportunity to get in there. I felt like he handled the huddle, the line of scrimmage and some critical situations well.”
For the quarter-and-a-half that Garoppolo was in, the Patriots gained 280 total yards and put up 21 points. With Brissett, who played the rest of the way, the team gained 185 total yards and put up seven points. With Garoppolo in the game, the offense averaged 7.62 yards per play; with Brissett, 5.47 yards.
After reviewing the game, it’s clear how much the offense changed when the third-round pick was under center.
The biggest difference was that the offense suddenly became run-heavy. Not including the final kneel down, the Patriots ran the ball 24 times and attempted only 11 pass plays. When Brissett did throw, he rarely looked down the field and mainly threw to targets near the line of scrimmage, letting his playmakers go to work.
Brissett’s air yards to completion (total passing yards minus yards after the catch) was 0.7, meaning he averaged less than a yard gained per throw. The best example of this was at 11:35 of the third quarter. Brissett’s first completion of his NFL career went to Martellus Bennett for 37 yards. The pass, however, was caught four yards beyond the line of scrimmage and the tight end gained 33 yards after the catch.
The quarterback didn’t prefer one side of the field over the other, as he threw to the right five times and to the left four. Like Garoppolo last week, when Brissett threw the ball, he had a lightning-quick release, averaging 2.21 seconds from snap to throw.
When he was asked to throw, things were simple for Brissett, who completed 6-of-9 passes for 92 yards. In his three incomplete passes, two were drops by Edelman and the other was due to the offense line as he got hit by Mario Williams.
The offense jumped on Blount’s back with Brissett in the game. Blount ran the ball 10 times for 21 yards (2.1 yards per carry) with Garoppolo. With Brissett, he ran the ball 19 times for 102 yards (5.37 yards per carry).
With Brissett looking to be the starter on Thursday against Houston, the Patriots need to get better on third down. The team went 2-for-7 completing only 29 percent of third-down conversions, with the rookie under center.