The New England Patriots have been reluctant to give presumed starter Jimmy Garoppolo more reps than Tom Brady in practice up to this point. That changed on Wednesday night when New England put more on the second-year quarterback's plate.
His plate was filled to the tune of 32 pass attempts for Garoppolo to just five for Brady. That doesn't mean the Patriots have thrown in the towel and accepted that Brady will miss the first four games. Nothing has changed for them to go that route.
It's more along the lines of preparing Garoppolo for the type of pressure and workload he'll handle in the regular season. And fortunately the Patriots did up his reps, because he struggled more than he has all training camp.
According to NESN, Garoppolo completed just 15 of 32 pass attempts, while Brady was a perfect 5-for-5. He's also been known to hold onto the ball too long in the pocket, which was evident in Wednesday's practice. That, combined with inaccuracy, spelled a rough night for Garoppolo.
"It's on, it's on -- every rep matters, and when you get an opportunity like this to come out with the guys and have the majority of reps, it's a good thing and you have to take advantage of it," he said via ESPN. "I'm pretty critical of myself. I think that's a good thing."
As far as how often Garoppolo will get first-team reps, that remains a Bill Belichick-type mystery. There doesn't seem to be a plan for rotating Brady and Garoppolo, which could be a result of not knowing how Brady's case will go in court.
"We don't have backups and starters, we just have a team," Belichick said. "Everybody is out there competing. It's just a team, that's all. ... All the players will earn their playing time. Whatever they get, they'll earn it."
Fans and the coaching staff will get a better feel for Garoppolo's progress during preseason games in the coming weeks. Even if he performs poorly, though, he'll still be there guy if Brady's suspended. Garoppolo's been solid so far this summer, so this could just be a down night for the youngster.