Brady, 42, has been banged up this season. He was listed on the team’s injury report with a right elbow ailment and even came to a postgame press conference with a wrap around his arm following a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Because of that, Belichick said quarterbacks Jarrett Stidham and Cody Kessler have been getting more reps at practice.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wears a wrap on his right elbow as he arrives to speak to the media following an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
“Those guys are always ready to go,” Belichick said during a press conference. “It’s hard to practice with three quarterbacks, but there have been a couple of examples where Tom hasn’t been able to do a lot this year. So that’s given Stidham an opportunity to go with the first group, to run our plays and run our offense. And that’s been good for him. And it’s given Cody more of an opportunity to run more of the scout-team plays because Jarrett’s not taking those. So, quarterbacks are always looking for more work. They’ve taken advantage of it. I think it’s helped them.
“You don’t always want to do it that way, sometimes it’s best to do things that way,” Belichick said. “That’s good for everybody. You know, we want everybody out there as healthy as they can be. That’s ultimately the goal. It’s not always that way, and certainly that’s a better scenario than having just two quarterbacks. Then one guy has to take everything. Not that he can’t take it. It’s the National Football League, but mentally going from a defensive period to an offensive period to a defensive period to an offensive period is not really the best. It’s not as conducive to the high level of execution you need at either one. But sometimes that’s what it is, so you have to adjust.”
Brady has had an up-and-down 2019 campaign. He has 21 touchdown passes, seven interceptions and 3,565 passing yards, despite his security blanket Rob Gronkowski retiring and rookie wide receivers not stepping up. He missed out on Pro Bowl selection this season, the first time since 2008, when he missed the majority of the year with an injury.