One week after losing Tom Brady's backup, Jimmy Garoppolo, to a banged-up shoulder, the team is dealing with an injury to rookie passer Jacoby Brissett.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that the first-time starter suffered a sprained right thumb in Thursday night's romp over the Houston Texans, per a source.
The team is weighing its options on how to proceed with Brissett, but the injury is "not deemed to be a serious one," per Rapoport, who noted that the Patriots are expected to add another veteran quarterback.
Brissett was shown on the sideline in obvious discomfort during the third quarter of the Texans tilt, but he played from wire-to-wire.
New England has another nine days before playing the Buffalo Bills in Week 4. Garoppolo could potentially be healthy by then if Brissett can't go. Patriots receiver Julian Edelman also knows the position -- and could have been used in an emergency on Thursday night -- but he's far too valuable to start under center.
Veteran free-agent Matt Flynn could serve as a possible signing, along with fellow street arm Ryan Lindley. The Patriots only need help for one week, with Brady -- coming off his four-game suspension -- set to return to action in Week 5 against the Cleveland Browns.
It was a total team effort, but Brissett was used wisely inside a game plan that asked him to throw just 19 passes while using his feet to run for 48 yards off eight carries, including a juicy 27-yard touchdown gallop.
For all the critics who want to temper Belichick's talents by calling this primarily a Brady-powered operation, the first three weeks of the new season have only magnified the coach's almost supernatural ability to prepare his team -- and especially his quarterbacks.
We wouldn't be surprised, by now, if Belichick signed Scarlett Johansson -- sight unseen -- and turned her into a 200-yard passer by Week 4. Anything feels possible for this year's Patriots.