Jimmy Garoppolo has been diagnosed with a sprained AC joint in his shoulder, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. Garoppolo is not expected to take the field this week when the Patriots face the Houston Texans on Thursday Night Football. According to Garafolo, it’s possible Garoppolo will be healthy enough to play in Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills.
Garoppolo left the New England Patriots’ Week 2 matchup against the Miami Dolphins in the second quarter after being injured during a hit by Kiko Alonso. Still, the Patriots were able to hold off the Dolphins for a 31-24 win.
Prior to injury, Garoppolo had 234 yards and threw three touchdowns for the Patriots.
He was replaced by rookie Jacoby Brissett, who was selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Brissett did just enough to preserve the win for the Patriots. He didn’t throw any interceptions, and his only fumble was recovered by his teammate James White, so no harm done.
Brissett finished the day having completed six of nine passes for 92 yards, and while Miami did force a huge momentum swing late in the game with three scores, Brissett did enough to keep the Patriots from losing.
New England’s defense helped. The Patriots had been opportunistic throughout the game, finishing with two picks and two forced fumbles. At the end of the game, Patriots safety Duron Harmon intercepted Ryan Tannehill in the end zone, preventing a score that could have allowed the Dolphins to send the game to overtime.
After the game, Bill Belichick said he thought Brissett filled in well.
"Jacoby, he’s been working for this for a long time," Belichick said. "All the way back in the spring, all the way through training camp ... he did a good job."
Early reports suggest that Garoppolo did not suffer a fracture, but he continued to undergo tests to determine the extent of the injury. AC joint injuries can usually be managed with painkillers, and a player’s ability to take the field is often dependent upon his pain tolerance. The fact that the Patriots have such a quick turnaround this week make this injury more of a challenge for New England.
The Patriots will need to bring in another quarterback to back up Brissett while Garoppolo recovers. Tom Brady will return from his Deflategate suspension following Week 4 and should be back on the field in Week 5 when the Patriots face the Cleveland Browns.