For the first time in the 2021 regular season, the New England Patriots depth chart at quarterback is deeper than one player.
As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Patriots have signed QB Brian Hoyer to a one-year contract, promoting him from the practice squad.
Hoyer’s signing was expected, since the Pats released both he and quarterback Cam Newton during the final roster cutdown on August 31. Shortly thereafter, the 35-year-old signed with the Patriots practice squad. Hoyer was one of two roster elevations for New England’s season-opener against the Miami Dolphins. He will now officially become the primary backup to starter Mac Jones.
Hoyer originally agreed to return to New England, by signing a one-year deal with the team in May. He began the 2020 season as the team’s second option on the quarterback depth-chart, behind starter Cam Newton. However, after struggling in a Week 4 start against the Kansas City Chiefs, (a game which Newton was forced to miss as he recovered from COVID-19) Hoyer was designated to third-string behind Jarrett Stidham. He was a healthy scratch for the Patriots’ final 12 games, finishing 2020 by completing 15 of 24 pass attempts for 130 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception.
With Hoyer joining the 53-man roster, it is widely expected that another veteran will soon follow him. Kicker Nick Folk is currently a member of the practice squad. However, rookie Quinn Nordin is reportedly being placed on injured reserve (IR) with an abdomen injury. Once the underrated rookie’s move to IR is made official, Folk is likely to be added to the Patriots roster.