New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will not play for the first four games of the regular season due to his DeflateGate suspension, but he might just find himself playing in the team's fourth preseason game against the New York Giants on Thursday.
Starters are typically nowhere near the fourth preseason game, and see the most playing time the week before. Brady did not play in the first two preseason games, but he suited up in Week 3 and said he wants to play in the final game as well. It's an unusual situation, and it seems Brady simply wants to play some football before he has to sit for four weeks while the focus will be on Jimmy Garoppolo.
Garoppolo is the starter in Brady's absence. He is traveling with the team for the fourth preseason game but it's unclear if he'll see any playing time, as he can be considered a starter, at least for the first four weeks of the season. Protecting Garoppolo, a quarterback the Patriots obviously feel comfortable with, should be the top concern for the team at this stage.
Whether Brady will play (or Garoppolo, for that matter) is totally up in the air and likely won't be known until just before game time.
Garoppolo completed 11 of 18 passes for 168 yards in the preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints, 16 of 21 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown in Game 2 against the Chicago Bears and 9 of 15 for 57 yards in the third preseason game against the Carolina Panthers.
He hasn't thrown an interception in the preseason just yet, and while he lacks the top-end scoring production of someone like Brady, he should be a good player to have under center while New England's defense carries the load for a few games.
It hasn't been a great preseason for the Giants' starters on offense. The starting offense has yet to score a point, though it's unlikely they'll see any playing time on Thursday. Going out and putting up a touchdown against New England's backups wouldn't do much for morale, so look for business as usual out of the Giants in this fourth preseason game.
Thursday's game between the two will be begin at 7 p.m. ET. It will be broadcast nationally on the NFL Network. If you're watching locally, the stations are listed below. A live stream will be available via NFL Game Pass as well.
How to Watch Patriots vs. Giants on Thursday
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
TV: Away: WBZ-CBS 4; Home: WNBC-NBC 4
Announcers: Away: Dan Roche, Christian Fauria, Matt Chatham | Home: Bob Papa, Carl Banks
Online Streaming: NFL Game Pass
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