FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo left Sunday’s home opener against the Miami Dolphins with 4 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the second quarter after taking a big hit from Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso and landing hard on his right throwing shoulder.
The Patriots later announced that Garoppolo would not return due to the shoulder injury. Rookie Jacoby Brissett, the third-round pick from NC State (91st overall), took over, as he was the only other quarterback on New England’s 53-man roster.
Garoppolo initially attempted to play through the injury before kneeling on one knee after absorbing the hit. The crowd chanted: “Jimmy! Jimmy! Jimmy!” as he appeared to be in considerable pain. He walked slowly to the locker room under his own power.
Garoppolo had been on fire, leading the Patriots to touchdowns on their first three possessions as they took a 21-0 lead. He was 18 of 27 for 234 yards and 3 touchdowns at the time of the injury.
Brissett threw for 92 yards on 6 of 9 passing in relief of Garoppolo, and the Patriots held on for a 31-24 victory.
The team’s emergency quarterback would likely have been wide receiver Julian Edelman, who was a quarterback at Kent State before switching to receiver when the Patriots drafted him in the seventh round in 2009.
The Patriots’ depth at quarterback was a notable topic entering the season, with veteran Tom Brady serving a four-game suspension to open the season as part of the NFL’s Deflategate penalties. The Patriots didn’t bring a fourth quarterback to training camp and didn’t sign a quarterback to their practice squad.