The Patriots caught a break with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo when his shoulder injury turned out to be not as serious as it initially appeared. Now the same may be true with rookie Jacoby Brissett.
Brissett suffered a sprained (partially torn) thumb ligament in his right hand in Thursday night’s 27-0 win over the Texans, a league source close to Brissett confirmed to the Globe. WEEI initially reported the injury and wrote that Brissett likely will need surgery to stabilize the injury. But the Globe’s source said Brissett, who was able to play through the injury against the Texans, as of now will not need surgery.
Brissett was shown briefly on the broadcast of the game having his right hand examined on the sideline.
The injury occurred early in the third quarter when Brissett scrambled for 4 yards and was tackled from behind by Vince Wilfork, who landed on top of Brissett and drove him into the ground.
Brissett remained in the game and didn’t miss a snap, completing 5 of 10 passes for 21 yards (plus two pass interference penalties) after the injury.
Brissett’s availability for the Patriots’ next game against the Bills Oct. 2 is still in question, though because Brissett was able to play through the injury Thursday night, he might be available. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler also is dealing with a sprained thumb ligament and will forgo surgery, but is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game vs. the Cowboys.
The Patriots’ quarterback depth chart remains in flux, though not for long. In addition to Brissett’s thumb injury, Tom Brady still has one game to go in his four-game suspension, while Garoppolo sat out Thursday night’s win with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder.
But the Patriots still could have both Garoppolo and Brissett as the quarterbacks against the Bills. The team initially was hopeful that Garoppolo’s shoulder would heal enough for him to play Thursday night. Garoppolo was still in a tremendous amount of pain Thursday, and the Patriots decided to deactivate him for the game and go with Brissett as the only quarterback.
But with 10 days between games, the Patriots are cautiously optimistic Garoppolo will be ready to start against the Bills, and Brissett could potentially be his backup.
If either Garoppolo or Brissett is not ready to go, the Patriots could sign T.J. Yates or Sean Renfree, who worked out for the Patriots last week. The Patriots also have Julian Edelman as an emergency option.
Ben Volin can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @BenVolin.