For those ready to anoint Jimmy Garoppolo the next Patriots’ starting quarterback, there remains one huge elephant in the room. His durability. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Garoppolo spent time riding the bike and missed his regular reps at Tuesday’s OTA with a minor leg injury.
Jimmy Garoppolo limited in practice. Appears to be minor leg-related injury. Rode bike while teammates ran. Didn’t take regular QB reps.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) June 13, 2017
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Last year in fill-in duty for Tom Brady, Garoppolo lasted just six quarters before being knocked out of the Week 2 matchup against the Dolphins. Jacoby Brissett took the reigns the rest of the way before Brady returned in Week 5. Despite the minor nature of the injury, this still continues a trend in his short career.
Although impressive in his two starts, Garoppolo’s durability should raise red flags for the Patriots. Brady’s long lasting health, aside from a knee injury in 2008, is one of the many great aspects of Brady’s career. In a short sample, Garoppolo has raised enough questions about his durability that it should make the Patriots hesitant to give him the reigns.
Garoppolo could very well be a productive player in the NFL, but if he is only productive for half a season, how valuable is he? When Tony Romo was healthy, he was one of the best quarterbacks in the league. However, a fragile collarbone, amoung other things, limited his ability to win a championship for the Cowboys. His injuries eventually paved the way for Dak Prescott.
With that in mind, this is evidence that in no way has the team committed to Garoppolo for next season. Let alone for the long-term future. If Brady can play for at least three more, Garoppolo will never start for the Patriots.
With a limited time available to determine Garoppolo’s durability, Patriots’ fans may be disappointed in the return for the presumed future quarterback. If Garoppolo continues to suffer minor injuries here and there throughout the upcoming season, then the likelihood of the Patriots using the franchise tag falls even further. Possibly leading to the young quarterback to walk at year’s end.