BOSTON (CBS) — After Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder, chances felt slim that he would be available to face the Houston Texans Thursday night in Foxboro. But a new report suggests that the Patriots are pushing Garoppolo to suit up and take the field with the injury.
The Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe reported Tuesday that the Patriots are “putting pressure on Garoppolo to be ready as quickly as possible,” indicating that they want him to start against Houston on the short week.
Although the severity of Garoppolo’s injury is not known, it would be far from the first time a quarterback played with a sprained AC joint. Tom Brady is known to have played with an AC sprain several times over the course of his career, and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned to face the Denver Broncos in last season’s AFC Divisional Playoff eight days after spraining his AC joint against the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wild Card round. Howe added that the Patriots are actually using Brady’s history of playing with the injury to push Garoppolo to play Thursday.
The Sunday injury left just three days for Garoppolo to prepare for Houston, but the quarterback is “still struggling to lift his right arm,” according to Howe. The short week to prepare for Houston obviously makes the Patriots’ situation different from others, but if the reports are true then the Patriots are seriously testing Garoppolo’s toughness to push him to play with the injury on short rest. Garoppolo reportedly practiced in a limited capacity on Tuesday.
The Patriots reportedly brought in free-agent quarterback T.J. Yates for a workout on Tuesday, according to WBZ’s Adam Kaufman. ESPN’s Adam Schefter later tweeted that they worked out quarterback Sean Renfree. The team did not end up signing either quarterback, another indication that Garoppolo could be available to play Thursday. Jacoby Brissett remains the likely starter if Garoppolo is unavailable.
This article was updated to clarify the timetable for Garoppolo’s preparation for Thursday night against Houston.