Desperate times call for desperate measures, as the Patriots are in search of a healthy quarterback to help fortify their roster heading into Sunday's home game against the Lions. With Mac Jones and Brian Hoyer dealing with injuries, the Patriots are expected to sign veteran quarterback Garrett Gilbert to the practice sqaud, according to NFL Media.
Jones is dealing with a high ankle sprain that was sustained during New England's Week 3 loss to Baltimore. Hoyer sustained a concussion during this past Sunday's road loss to the Packers. Bailey Zappe, who played well after coming in for Hoyer during this past Sunday's game, is the only healthy quarterback on the Patriots' roster. Zappe threw for 99 yards and a touchdown on 10 of 15 passing against the Packers, as New England fell in overtime to fall to 1-3 on the season.
A sixth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Gilbert has already had two prior stints with New England. He won a Super Bowl as a member of the practice squad when the Patriots won Super Bow XLIX. Gilbert spent most of last season on the Patriots' practice squad being he was signed by Washington after Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen were both placed on the COVID-19 list. Four days after being signed, Gilbert started in Washington's Week 15 game against the Eagles, going 20 of 31 for 194 yards in a 27-17 loss.
Gilbert's only other NFL start took place in Week 9 of the 2020 season as a member of the Cowboys. Facing the then-undefeated Steelers, Gilbert went 21 of 38 for 243 yards with a touchdown and an interception in a 24-19 loss.
Gilbert has made eight other regular season appearances. His first one came in relief duty back as a member of the Panthers in Week 16 of the 2018 season. Garrett completed two of his three pass attempts in a 19-point loss to New Orleans.
The 31-year-old quarterback entered the national spotlight during his freshman season at Texas, when he relieved injured starter Colt McCoy in the national championship game. He threw two touchdowns and four interceptions as Texas lost to Alabama.
The Patriots are currently facing an uphill climb in the AFC East, as they are currently last in the division. On Sunday, New England will face a Lions team that is currently 32nd in the NFL in scoring defense, 30th in pass defense and 30th against the run. This should bode well for a Patriots offense that is 10th in the NFL in rushing, led by Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson.