FOXBOROUGH – It was a confusing day yesterday at the New England Patriots' practice as reporters scrambled to learn who some of the players were on the field. One player, a tight end added from the practice squad, Jason Vander Laan, went unnamed for much of the analysis out of the practice.
However, there was a new quarterback on the field who definitely did not cause any confusion. At least, there was no confusion about who he was. But there was plenty of confusion as to why he was there.
In the 2016 NFL Draft, Cody Kessler was drafted by the Cleveland Browns to be their new quarterback. Considering that Baker Mayfield now starts for the Browns, things did not work out for Kessler as he bounced around to the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Philadelphia Eagles before eventually finding himself as a free agent. Yesterday, it was revealed by ESPN's Adam Schefter that the Patriots had signed Kessler.
Statistically, Kessler has not been very good. In his three-season career, he is 224-349 for 2,215 yards, eight touchdowns, and five interceptions. As a starter, his career record is 2-10. Regardless, the Patriots felt the need to add a quarterback to the roster and they determined that Kessler fit the bill. I can think of a few people who could wear the cap on the sideline ahead of Kessler, but he still managed to sign in the nick of time anyway.
The signing comes after the Patriots released stalwart backup Brian Hoyer at the end of August. Hoyer was since scooped up by the Indianapolis Colts with a three-year deal. It also comes after rookie backup Jarrett Stidham came into the Patriots v. New York Jets game in the fourth quarter on Sunday. With the game seemingly out of reach, Tom Brady was given a chance to rest, only for Stidham's drive to end in a pick-six. As such, Brady returned to the game.
Stidham is not going to be cut because of the blunder, but the addition of Kessler certainly adds some pressure to the next time he shows up in a game.
One downright positive aspect of the Patriots' practice, however, was the return of wide receiver Julian Edelman, who seems to be healing just fine after leaving Sunday's game with a chest injury.
Up next, the Patriots play the undefeated Buffalo Bills this Sunday at one o'clock in the afternoon. And I wouldn't expect to see Kessler under center.
Image via Wikimedia Commons / Erik Drost