All of the pieces are coming together, and the picture could be better for New Engalnd Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham.
On Friday, the soon-to-be 25-year-old underwent successful back surgery and is expected to miss up to 12 weeks of action, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.
This latest development makes sense of three recent details/events directly and indirectly related to Stidham.
Jarrett Stidham Landed on the PUP List Last Week
Earlier in the week, Stidham was not among the veterans on hand for the start of training camp. Stidham was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list along with several other veterans. However, many of them were still on-hand for training camp, though they were unable to physically participate.
Stidham was absent, which led to some immediate speculation about the severity of the previously unknown injury.
Patriots Re-Acquire Jake Dolegala
On Thursday, the Patriots claimed QB Jake Dolegala off waivers. Donegal spent most of the 2020 season with the Patriots on the practice squad. After signing a futures deal in New England earlier in the year, he was released. Amidst the sense resolved issues between the Green Bay Packers and MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the former signed Dolegala and former first-rounder Blake Bottles for depth and insurance.
With Rodgers reporting to training camp earlier this week, the Packers promptly released Dolegala and Bortles. The Patriots moved quickly to claim Dolegala, who is now the fifth quarterback currently on the roster.
Immediately, Stidham’s already seemingly shaky status on the roster seemed even more shaky.
Cam Newton Gave Indication of Injury News Related to Stidham
On Friday, Patriots quarterback Cam Newton wished Stidham well as he spoke with the media. Newton didn’t go into detail, but I sounded as if something was amiss.
Now that we know Stidham underwent surgery, it all makes more sense.
Jim McBride of the Boston Globe also noticed the connection:
The chances of Stidham making the Patriots’ roster seem lower than ever at this point. He has not racked up the stable history of performances in a Patriots uniform to fortify his place on the roster amidst a quarterback competition that is primarily between Newton and rookie Mac Jones.
Veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer told the media he wakes up at 6 am to text messages from Jones asking him questions about the Patriots offense.
Because it is believed he was re-signed to play the role of mentor for Jones, things seem to be falling into place on that front.
The major question is: where does Stidham fit in all of this?
The answer is probably that he doesn’t. It would not be surprising to see him traded or released just ahead of the start of the regular season as he hopefully starts to get healthier.
I’ve said countless times over the past few months, but a fresh start is likely best for Stidham moving forward.