New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was suspended four games for his role in the Deflategate scandal. Backup Jimmy Garoppolo will likely start the first games of the NFL season.
Brady and Garoppolo are the only quarterbacks currently on New England's roster.
Garoppolo was a second-round pick in 2014 after a record-breaking career at Eastern Illinois University. He won the Walter Payton Award, the Division I FCS equivalent of the Heisman Trophy, as a senior in 2013. He passed for 5,050 yards and 53 touchdowns in 14 games.
Garoppolo saw limited action in six games during his rookie season, completing 19 of 27 passes for 182 yards and one touchdown. His most extensive action came in the regular-season finale against the Buffalo Bills, when he replaced Brady at the start of the second half. He completed 10 of 17 passes for 90 yards but the Patriots only scored three points on his five series.
Garopollo played even more sparingly in 2015, appearing in only five games. He completed one of four passes for six yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions.
- Dan Gartland