The New England Patriots had an odd start to the 2016 season.
Tom Brady was suspended four games after Deflategate and that left room for Jimmy Garoppolo to show off his skills. The Patriots were high on Garoppolo and many people thought he would be the replacement for Brady – who appeared to be at the end of his career.
Garoppolo got off to a good start in the first two games, but suffered a shoulder injury in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins. Jacoby Brissett came on in Week 3 and played extremely well, but was left injured with a torn ligament in his thumb. Garoppolo was scheduled to start the final game of Week 4, but backed out at the last second and left it up to Brissett against the Buffalo Bills.
“Brother, we lost two games (without Brady),” Bennett said, via NBC Sports Boston. “One of them was because Jimmy Garoppolo was a (expletive). He quit before, decided not to play right before the game. Jacoby (Brissett) came out and played with a (expletive) thumbs-up and played his heart out, but Jimmy was just a (expletive) about everything.
Julian Edelman joined the I AM ATHLETE podcast and backed Bennett’s position – with much less vulgarity.
“I mean, I don’t know if we’re all football players here,” Edelman said of Garoppolo’s injury, transcribed by NESN. “So we go into week 4 and Jimmy was training and then decided not to play. Jacoby played without ligaments in his thumb, which you can’t do as a quarterback.
“A lot of guys got mad at that. I’m not going to lie, I went crazy about it,” Edelman continued. “I sacrificed my body all day. I was taking beatings for this, numbing that, ribs, broken ribs, shoulders, 3rd year limb hung just to play. I can understand why Marty (Bennett) think like that.
In hindsight, that could have played a role in Garoppolo’s move to the San Francisco 49ers. Brady led the Patriots to a 14-2 record that season and a Super Bowl victory.
A rookie from every NFL team who will surprise in 2022