BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots suffered what looked like a devastating loss when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo exited Sunday’s win over the Miami Dolphins with a shoulder injury. But No. 10 could have a chance to return to the Patriots lineup before the end of Tom Brady’s suspension.
After undergoing initial tests that indicated Garoppolo could miss six weeks, the quarterback has now been diagnosed with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder, according to the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. The Patriots quarterback’s throwing shoulder went down hard to the turf on a tackle by the Dolphins’ Kiko Alonso.
The indications are that Garoppolo will miss Thursday’s game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium but could return in time for Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills, according to CSNNE’s Tom E. Curran. For added perspective, Curran added that last season Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sprained his AC joint but returned the next week.
CSNNE’s Mike Giardi tweeted Monday morning that a three-to-four-week timetable for Garoppolo’s return is “reasonable and fair,” which could make Brissett the backup quarterback to Tom Brady for a game or two when No. 12 returns in Week 5 against Cleveland.
Later Monday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter Tweeted that the Patriots haven’t given up on the hope that Garoppolo could start on Thursday, though it remains a longshot.
Head coach Bill Belichick described Garoppolo’s situation as “day-to-day” after the game. Rookie backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who is the likely starter for Thursday night, entered the game in Garoppolo’s absence and was 6-of-9 passing for 92 yards.