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NFL Notebook (Sept. 20): No word on status of Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo for Thursday's game

By Kyle HIghtower | Associated Press Published: September 21, 2016 4:00 AM
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Bill Belichick isn't ready to rule out injured quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for Thursday night's game against the Texans.

The Patriots coach also isn't interested in sharing any contingency plans he might have.

Garoppolo was a limited participant in practice Tuesday as he continues to recover from the right shoulder injury he sustained late the first half of New England's win over the Dolphins last week . The third-year quarterback sat out Monday's practice.

The Patriots have yet to add another quarterback to the roster, increasing the possibility that rookie Jacoby Brissett could make his first career start against Houston (2-0) if Garoppolo can't go. In that situation, receiver Julian Edelman -- a former quarterback at Kent State -- would be the emergency option.

It didn't stop an onslaught of Garoppolo-related health questions on Tuesday. It drove Belichick to the point of agitation as he was pressed about Garoppolo's status.

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"He has been looked at. He has been treated, like every other player," Belichick said.

As inquiries persisted, he made it clear that whatever is going on with Garoppolo, what was best for his health would take precedence.

"I'm a football coach. I'm not a doctor," Belichick said.

But he does have a reputation of being a master of misdirection.

Texans coach Bill O'Brien has seen Belichick in action up close as a former Patriots assistant from 2007 to 2011.

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"I think we have to be ready for their roster," O'Brien said. "We have to understand the skill sets on their roster."

He also has memories of Edelman, a former college quarterback, showing off his skills during Patriots practices. O'Brien was there when they initially drafted Edelman.

"He was a shotgun, wildcat quarterback at Kent State -- and really good at it," O'Brien said. "I can remember doing some of those things with him over the couple of years I was with him in practice there. So I know that he can do that stuff."

There are also wild card players than can come into play as well, with O'Brien noting that receiver Danny Amendola "can also throw the ball."

GRONK STILL QUESTIONABLE

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was again a limited practice participant Tuesday as he works his way back from the hamstring injury that caused him to miss the first two games.

Gronkowski initially came out to Tuesday in full pads, but was sent back to the locker room to change his gear for helmets and sweatpants workout.

"I haven't been in full pads for a while, so I kind of felt like I wanted to get used to it," he said. "I wasn't allowed to wear them, so I had to take them off."

He said he wants to play this week.

"It's not just up to me... and it's not Thursday yet."

KAEPERNICK PROTEST CONTINUES

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Colin Kaepernick says he has received death threats through social media and other avenues since he began to protest during the national anthem last month.

Kaepernick said Tuesday he has not alerted San Francisco 49ers team security about the threats and understood that could happen once he began his protest over racial oppression and police brutality in the U.S.

"To me, if something like that were going to happen, you've proved my point," he said. "It would be loud and clear for everyone why it happened. That would move this movement forward at a greater speed than what it is even now. Granted, I don't want that to happen. But that's the realization of what could happen."

Kaepernick's protest during the anthem became public last month when he sat during the anthem before a preseason game against Green Bay and later explained his reasoning. He has since kneeled before the Niners' past three games. The kneeling is meant to show more respect for veterans.

Kaepernick has been joined by several other NFL players, U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe and scores of high school and college players who have picked up the cause.

It has not received universal support, however, and he said he was the target of racial slurs and other insults before last Sunday's game at Carolina.

"There's a lot of racism in this country disguised as patriotism and people want to take everything back to the flag but that's not what we're talking about," he said. "We're talking about racial discrimination, inequalities and injustices that happen across the nation."

Kaepernick said he plans to start a website soon showing he is donating the $1 million he has pledged to organizations supporting his cause of racial equality. He will donate $100,000 a month for 10 months once he has vetted organizations to determine which deserve his donations.


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