The New England Patriots are getting ready to suit up for their second preseason game against the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night and will do so without Tom Brady.
New England’s veteran quarterback, who got heavy reps during joint practices this week with the Titans, will be sitting out for the second straight week of the preseason, according to a report from ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
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New England has a short turnaround between their second and third games of the preseason as Carolina visits Gillette Stadium next Thursday. Brady will likely play a hefty amount against the Panthers.
The last time Brady did not play in the Patriots’ second preseason game was in 2016 against the Chicago Bears.
Last season, Brady played almost the entire first half against the Eagles in the second preseason game. He finished 19 of 26 with 172 yards and two touchdown passes in a Super Bowl LII rematch.
Extended Roles For Stidham & Hoyer
For the second straight week, Patriots’ backup quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham we’ll get an extended look against a different defense. Hoyer shredded the Detroit defense in the first half of last week’s preseason opener while Stidham put in a strong second-half effort in his NFL debut.
Stidham struggled on his second day of joint practices, going just 1 for 6 in 11-on-11 drills after a 3 for 5 showing on Wednesday. Hoyer was only 2 for 5 on Wednesday himself, taking a back seat as Brady flourished.
The two have been battling it out for the immediate backup role this season. While Hoyer has become accustomed to the role of backup behind Brady, he has his hands full this summer trying to maintain that title. Stidham is showing his accuracy already and even turned some heads during the early part of training camp.
Isaiah Wynn Debuts
While Brady may be out, his top pass protector is slated to make his preseason debut after an Achilles injury kept him out all last season, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic.
Wynn saw his workload increase during the past week as he gradually got back into the swing of things. He took mainly first-team reps in joint practices with Tennessee.
Wynn was highly-touted as a left tackle out of Georgia. Despite his shorter stature than most left tackles, Wynn’s pass-protection ability is superior.
The initial plan for Wynn appeared to be with Brady under center, but now he’ll be tasked with protecting back-up Brian Hoyer.
Perhaps Brady’s status changed because of so many Patriots’ receivers out with injuries. Aside from Julian Edelman, Cameron Meredith, and Demaryius Thomas who are all out with injuries, New England lost Phillip Dorsett, Maurice Harris, and N’Keal Harry to injuries during the week.
The Patriots are also without tight ends Matt LaCosse and Stephen Anderson. Not to mention newly-reinstated Josh Gordon is still out of the fold until Sunday.
With Brady expected to work with primarily backup targets, it was best to reduce the injury risk and keep him sidelined.