The Patriots are preparing for life without Tom Brady

With Tom Brady losing his appeal of his four-game suspension, it appears that the New England Patriots are preparing for the possibility they will be forced to play without their star quarterback for the first four games of the regular season.

For the first time in training camp, back-up quarterback
Jimmy Garoppolo took the majority of first-team reps at Wednesday’s practice, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

“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,” Garoppolo said. “I’m pretty critical of myself. I think that’s a good thing.”

Since being taken by the Patriots in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Garoppolo has rarely worked with the first-team offence in practice, or games. The former Eastern Illinois star saw only limited action during the regular season last year, although he did start the entire second half of the Patriots regular season finale against the Buffalo Bills, with the Patriots having already secured the No. 1 seed and nothing else to play for.

Here’s how Garoppolo performed during his limited playing time last year:

  • September 29: 41-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs: 6/7 passes completed, 70 yards, 1 touchdown, 147.9 quarterback rating
  • October 26: 51-23 win over the Chicago Bears: 3/3 passes completed, 22 yards, 97.2 quarterback rating
  • December 28: 9-22 loss to the Buffalo Bills: 10/17 passes completed, 90 yards, 73.2 quarterback rating

While the 6′ 2″ 225-pound Garoppolo has the natural build for a quarterback, Reiss notes that he seemed to struggle at times throughout the “game-like” practice, and reporters who were charting throws said the former second rounder only competed around 50 per cent of his passes.

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