Quarterback Tom Brady will sit out tonight’s New England Patriots pre-season game against the Washington Redskins, according to an ESPN source. No specific reason was given for Brady sitting out.
With Brady on the sideline for the Pats’ first pre-season game, the Patriots coaching staff will have a chance to learn more about backup QB Ryan Mallett. During the regular season Mallet won’t likely see much play, so tonight’s preseason game against the Redskins will give him some good first-team reps.
It’s not like Brady hasn’t seen the Redskins before. The two teams have been practicing together this week, with Brady taking first-team reps against the ‘Skins on Monday and Tuesday.
Brady sitting out tonight’s game also eliminates the risk of an unnecessary injury to the All-Pro QB. Brady told ESPN that “[Monday], I’d say it was probably 80 or 90 reps. [Tuesday] was probably pretty similar. Typically you don’t get that in a given week.”
With no shortage of practice reps, there’s little reason to risk injury in what amounts to a meaningless game.
That’ll provide some meaningful play time for Mallet, a third-round selection in the 2011 draft. Since being drafted he has played sparingly, and the Patriots would like to get a better idea of what he offers since he’s in the final year of his rookie-year contract.
On the other side of the field, Robert Griffin III (RG3) is expected to start tonight in the first Redskins preseason game. RG3 is coming off a tough 2013-14 season, his first year back from injury, and will focus on two things.
First is proving the doubters wrong after a season where everyone said he wasn’t, and couldn’t be, the same. Second is getting some pseudo-real-game reps with new Redskins receiver DeSean Jackson. The Redskins signed Jackson after the productive wide-out was unexpectedly cut by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Tonight’s Patriots-Redskins preseason game marks the first time RG3 and Jackson will get “live” reps against another team. The practices the Pats and ‘Skins ran earlier this week weren’t full contact.
That presumes Jackson plays tonight. Coach Jay Gruden has said Jackson is “a game-time decision” after rolling his left ankle in practice.
Other Redskins players out tonight against the New England Patriots include wide receiver Pierre Garçon and free safety Ryan Clark, neither of whom will play at all due to hamstring injuries.
As for RG3 and the other starters, Coach Gruden has indicated he plans to play them eight to 10 snaps each, and at most a quarter. So even if RG3 and Jackson both start, they’ll likely only see a limited amount of playing time together.