BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots made a surprising move on Wednesday, signing quarterback Cody Kessler.

The Patriots are, of course, set at quarterback with Tom Brady. But perhaps Bill Belichick isn’t as thrilled with rookie Jarrett Stidham as Brady’s backup after the 23-year-old threw a pick-six against the New York Jets on Sunday. Stidham played just one series against the Jets, completing two of his three passes and taking a sack, and was back on the bench after throwing the interception.

Since the move was not official at the time, Belichick wouldn’t comment on the reported Kessler signing when he addressed the media at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday. He was asked if bringing in a third quarterback has anything to do with the calf injury that limited Brady in practice last week, but he wouldn’t elaborate.

“Whatever our decisions are, they’re more roster management,” said Belichick.

The Patriots announced the Kessler signing Wednesday afternoon, and the QB was on the field for Wednesday’s practice, wearing the No. 6 jersey.

Kessler, a third-round pick by the Cleveland Browns out of USC in 2016, has played in 17 NFL games for Cleveland and the Jacksonville Jaguars, starting 12 of them. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler has completed 64.2 percent of his passes during his career, with eight touchdowns and five interceptions.

The Patriots cut backup quarterback Brian Hoyer ahead of the season, but are back to carrying three quarterbacks on their roster with Kessler now in the mix.

Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Bills clash on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. Coverage begins Friday night at 7 p.m. with Patriots All Access, and kicks off Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay. The Patriots and Bills kick off at 1 p.m. and after the game, switch over to TV38 for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!

 

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