Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday morning the decision to deactivate quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo wasn’t any different from how they handle any injured player.
“The decision to make him inactive was just like the decision to make the other six players inactive,’’ he said during a conference call. “Every game there’s seven inactives.’’
When asked if he anticipated that Garoppolo would play or was surprised that Garoppolo couldn’t go, the coach didn’t say when exactly a call was made but instead referenced how the quarterback was listed on the injury report.
“We listed him as questionable, so when we list a player as questionable, that means it’s 50-50 that we think they can play,’’ he said. “Look, we can’t do an injury report every five minutes. At some point, that 50-50 either goes to they can play or they can’t play.
“We listed him on the injury report based on what we knew at 4 p.m. on Friday or whatever time the injury report was turned in.’’
Belichick said he was happy to have Tom Brady and Rob Ninkovich back — both returned Monday from four-game suspensions — but he wasn’t interested in predicting how the veterans’ presence would affect his team.
“It’s great to have Tom and Rob back,’’ he said. “I’m not going to speculate on what will or won’t happen on anything going forward because that’s all it would be — speculation.’’
The coach said he didn’t have “an exact answer” as to when the Patriots would need to make corresponding roster moves to account for Brady and Ninkovich. Both are likely to receive exemptions through Saturday.
“Why don’t you call the league and ask them that?’’ he said. “I’m sure they have all the answers.’
Jim McBride can be reached at email@example.com