Patriots' Jarrett Stidham Not Expected to Practice Much with Leg Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2020

New England Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham catches the ball during an NFL football training camp practice, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool)
Steven Senne/Associated Press

New England Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham will be limited if he participates in Friday's practice as he works through discomfort stemming from a leg injury.

Ian Rapoport and Michael Giardi of the NFL Network reported the news and noted the Pats will "proceed cautiously" with the second-year QB.

Stidham is competing with Cam Newton and Brian Hoyer to take over as the Patriots' starting quarterback after the departure of team legend Tom Brady, who left in free agency to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The 24-year-old Auburn University product impressed as a rookie during last year's preseason. He completed 67.8 percent of his 90 attempts for 731 yards with four touchdowns and one interceptions, which translates into a 102.6 passer rating.

Although Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP, has a decorated track record, Stidham may have had the inside track on the starting spot before the injury for a couple reasons.

First, he possesses a year of experience working behind Brady in the offense, which takes on additional importance without any exhibition games this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Second, the Patriots likely want to get an extended look at him in game action this year before deciding whether their hunt for a long-term franchise quarterback needs to begin in earnest next offseason.

Stidham said in early August he was looking forward to the competition.

"I was actually back in Texas visiting some family when everything happened," Stidham told reporters about the Newton signing. "Honestly, I was excited. What a great opportunity to compete with another great player—compete with Hoy and Cam. I was actually really excited for the opportunity ahead."

He added: "We're all in that room together and we're all there to help each other. That is what it is all about."

It doesn't sound like Stidham is dealing with a serious injury at this stage, but if it forces him to miss more practice time as the regular season gets closer, it will bolster Newton's chances of winning the job.

The Pats are slated to kick off the campaign Sept. 13 when they welcome the AFC East rival Miami Dolphins to Gillette Stadium for a Week 1 clash.