The New England Patriots had an odd start to the 2016 season.
Tom Brady was suspended four games following Deflategate and it left room for Jimmy Garoppolo to showcase his talent. The Patriots were high on Garoppolo and many people believed he would be the one to replace Brady — who was appearing to be near the end of his career.
Garoppolo had a solid start in the first two games, but he injured his shoulder in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins. Jacoby Brissett came in Week 3 and played extremely well, but he ended up injured with a torn ligaments in his thumb. Garoppolo was set to start the final game in Week 4, but backed out last second and left it up to Brissett against the Buffalo Bills.
“Bro, we lost two games (without Brady),” Bennett said, via NBC Sports Boston. “One of them was because Jimmy Garoppolo was being a (expletive). He quit before, decided not to play right before the game. Jacoby (Brissett) came out and played with a (expletive) -up thumb and played his heart out, but Jimmy was just being a (expletive) about it all. ”
Julian Edelman joined the I AM ATHLETE podcast and backed up Bennett’s stance — with much less vulgarity.
“I mean, I don’t know we’re all football players here,” Edelman said about Garoppolo’s injury, transcribed by NESN. “So we go into Week 4 and Jimmy was practicing and then decided not to play. Jacoby played with no ligaments in his thumb, which you ca n’t do that as a quarterback.
“A lot of guys got mad at it. I’m not going to lie, I got mad about it,” Edelman continued. “I sacrificed my body all day long. I was taking shots for this, numbing up that, ribs, broken ribs, shoulders, Grade 3 hanging on by limbs just to play. I can understand why Marty (Bennett) thinks like that.”
In hindsight, this could’ve played a role in Garoppolo being traded to the San Francisco 49ers. Brady led the Patriots to a 14-2 record that season and a Super Bowl victory.