Garoppolo, Brissett on field as Patriots return to practice

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FOXBOROUGH, MASS. >> Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett were both in uniform as the Patriots went back to the practice field on Tuesday.

Which one of them will be at quarterback when New England hosts Buffalo on Sunday remains a mystery at this point.

Garoppolo missed last week's game against Houston with a throwing shoulder injury that occurred during the second quarter of the New England's win over the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 18.

In his absence last week, Brissett, a third-round pick in this year's draft, successfully led New England (3-0) past the Houston Texans in his first career start, but sustained an apparent right thumb injury sometime during the second half.

It's all added more intrigue as the Patriots prepare for their final game before the return of Tom Brady from his four-game "Deflategate" suspension.

Neither Garoppolo nor Brissett were available for interviews Tuesday, but Brissett did briefly acknowledge the high interest surrounding his health as reporters gazed at him while he walked through the locker room prior to practice.

"I've never seen so many people looking at my hand," Brissett said with a chuckle on his way to his locker.

Brissett didn't have any coverings on his thumb at the time, and could be seen both texting with the thumb and using it to lace up his cleats. But later at practice he did have tape on his thumb and wrist as he stretched.

Garoppolo didn't have any visible braces or bandages on his shoulder in the locker room or once he was on the field.

Coach Bill Belichick deflected questions on the status of his quarterbacks earlier this week, deferring to the NFL-mandated injury report which will be available for the first time this week on Wednesday.

Receiver Danny Amendola, who had the first two-touchdown game of his career against the Dolphins courtesy of throws from Garoppolo, said he was just as clueless about the plan at quarterback as everyone else.

"I don't know — ask coach," Amendola said. "That will be up to him."

Notes: The Patriots signed defensive lineman John Hughes and receiver Da'Ron Brown to the practice squad Tuesday. Hughes was a third-round pick by the Cleveland Browns in the 2012 draft and has played in 53 career games with 10 starts. Brown was a seventh-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2015.


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