FOXBORO — The Patriots hosted the Bears for three days of joint practices and then Thursday’s preseason game, but most exciting part the week may have happened on the first day.

Malcolm Butler addressed his fight earlier in the week with Alshon Jeffrey. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Malcolm Butler addressed his fight earlier in the week with Alshon Jeffrey. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — The Patriots hosted the Bears for three days of joint practices and then Thursday’s preseason game, but most exciting part the week may have happened on the first day.

During Monday’s joint practice, Malcolm Butler and Bears wide out Alshon Jeffery got into it after a play in 11-on-11s.

The two had their hands on eachother’s face masks and then it appeared Butler took a swing at Jeffery causing numerous players from each team to converge in the corner of the end zone.

After a few seconds order was restored and Butler was ejected from practice as Bill Belichick has a no fighting policy. Jeffery stayed as the Bears just fine their players for fighting.

After the game, speaking for the first time since it happened, Butler referred to it as a mistake.

“I just learned from it and moved on,” he said. “Wasting quality reps out there, you know I could be getting better at the same time. It’s just like pick up game, anything, everything is not perfect. You’re going to have those mistakes. I learned from it and moved on. Went back out there the next day trying to be the best football player I could be.”

Butler and Jeffery appeared to make up the next day and moved on from the incident. Overall it was a good week for the Patriots’ cornerbacks to go up against both Jeffrey and Kevin White, two of the better receivers in the league.

“[It will] be very helpful, you know, there [are] a lot of big guys in this league, we have a couple [of] big opponents this year,” Butler said. “You know, try to take advantage of the opportunity to work with those guys. It [wasn’t] perfect, but you know it is what it is.”

In the game Thursday, Jeffery finished with two catches for 41 yards, while White had one catch for six yards.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — What did Bill Belichick have to say about Tom Brady’s absence? And Jimmy Garoppolo and AJ Derby star in Patriots 23-22 win over the Bears. WEEI’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price have the details at Gillette.

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WEEI
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WEEI

FOXBORO — About 60 minutes before Thursday’s preseason game between the Bears and Patriots it was expected Tom Brady would at least start the game, but when the quarterbacks ran on to the field, there were only two — Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett.

Bill Belichick said he made the decision not to play Tom Brady vs. Bears. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Bill Belichick said he made the decision not to play Tom Brady vs. Bears. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

FOXBORO — About 60 minutes before Thursday’s preseason game between the Bears and Patriots it was expected Tom Brady would at least start the game, but when the quarterbacks ran on to the field, there were only two — Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett.

Shortly there after, Brady was spotted leaving the Gillette Stadium facility in street clothes.

Garoppolo started the game and Brady missed his second straight game, as he didn’t play last week against the Saints either.

Despite a report of Brady cutting his finger with scissors before the game, afterwards Bill Belichick wouldn’t acknowledge the report, just saying he made the decision not to play Brady.

“Yeah, I made a decision before the game to play just Jimmy and Jacoby,” he said.

When asked directly about the report, Belichick maintained it was his decision and didn’t address the report.

Asked about how Garoppolo handled the late change, Belichick said it’s part of the game and is something he prepares all the players for.

“That’s part of football,” Belichick said. “Things happen that are unexpected and he’s been prepared for that the day he got here. I think all of our players are. Sometimes things happen and they change and you have to adjust to them. On offense and for the quarterbacks, we refer to that as an audible.”

Garoppolo finished the game 16-for-21 with 181 yards and a touchdown.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — Jimmy Garoppolo got the call to start after Tom Brady was sent home because of a

Jimmy Garoppolo went 16-for-21 for 181 yards and a touchdown in the win over the Bears. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Jimmy Garoppolo went 16-for-21 for 181 yards and a touchdown in the win over the Bears. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Jimmy Garoppolo got the call to start after Tom Brady was sent home because of a pregame scissors accident — one that’s not expected to be serious — and the youngster responded by going 16-for-21 for 181 yards and a touchdown pass in New England’s 23-22 preseason win over the Bears Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.

Brady was expected to get the call to start, but after the reported incident, the Patriots apparently turned to Garoppolo. The youngster engineered a pair of touchdown drives in two-plus quarters of work against the Bears, one coming on a 1-yard run from LeGarrette Blount and the second on a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end A.J. Derby at the end of the first half to give New England a 17-11 lead going into the half.

Garoppolo got plenty of help from the rest of the offense in the early going, as Blount had 47 first-half yards (and 11 carries for 69 yards on the game), while Martellus Bennett added a pair of early receptions and Cyrus Jones had a first-half interception deep in Chicago territory that set up the New England offense nicely for a second-quarter score.

Jacoby Brissett got the call midway through the third quarter and finished out the game 9-for-13 for 87 yards. Derby also had a big night early and late with three first-half catches to go along with his second-quarter touchdown. He ended up with six catches for 71 yards and a touchdown, and certainly made his case to be the third tight end on the roster.

On the other side of the ball, Chicago jumped to an early 11-0 lead on a Jeremy Langford touchdown run and Robbie Gould field goal, but the Patriots took the lead for good with a 17-point outburst in the second quarter with a pair of touchdowns (Blount and Derby) and a 21-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski. (Gostkowski added two more third-quarter field goals, one from 29 yards and a second from 44 yards.)

Jay Cutler started and went 8-for-12 for 83 yards for Chicago, which lost its second straight preseason game of the summer.

Brady was one of several New England stars to sit out the game, a group that included Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Dion Lewis, Rob Ninkovich and Jabaal Sheard.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — Just minutes after Bill Belichick told Scott Zolak on the Patriots radio pregame show that Tom Brady would play, Patriots team president Jonathan Kraft announced that there had been a last-minute change.

FOXBORO — Apparently, there was a very good reason Tom Brady wasn’t starting Thursday night against the Bears.