Reports that New England Patriots starting quarterback Tom Brady will not be playing against the Philadelphia Eagles Monday night makes it a big night for backup quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett.
Hoyer and Mallett are currently in a battle to see who will be the primary backup for the Patriots star quarterback. It’s still too close to call between the two with both receiving their fair amount of support. News that Brady will not be featured in Monday night’s second preseason game will give both a great opportunity to separate from the other.
This game will be extremely important for both quarterbacks in their battle to become the primary backup. Brady will likely play the majority of the final two preseason games to make sure he’s completely ready for the team’s opener on September 9. Because of this, Hoyer and Mallet must use this opportunity to their advantage. With only two quarterbacks available Monday night, both Hoyer and Mallett will get a full half to play.
The quest to find the best backup for Brady is one that has lasted the entire offseason. The Patriots cannot be successful in the upcoming season with a strong performance from the quarterback position. In 2008 Brady spent almost the entire season on injured reserved. He was replaced by the unknown quarterback Matt Cassel who would lead the Patriots to an 11-5 record and almost a playoff berth. The Patriots are hoping Hoyer or Mallett can do the same if needed.
While the two quarterbacks have had their fair share of reps in practice, Monday night will be key as they will each get significant time against actual opposition. This game will give each a chance to prove that they are worthy of the primary backup position. It could be a position that, if Brady does go down, would be of the utmost importance to the Patriots season.