Patriots' Tom Brady, suspended for first four games, gets preseason start

— -- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is expected to start Thursday night's preseason game against the Chicago Bears, a source confirmed to ESPN.

The news was first reported by the Boston Herald.

Brady did not play in the team's preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints after being excused to attend the memorial service of a family member. It is unclear how much Brady will play vs. the Bears.

The veteran quarterback will serve a four-game suspension to begin the regular season, and the team will turn to  Jimmy Garoppolo as its starter. This will mark the first season since 2001 that a quarterback other than Brady started the regular-season opener for the Patriots.

Thursday's game will also conclude a week of activity between the Bears and Patriots, who conducted joint practices Monday and Tuesday and a combined walk-through-style practice Wednesday.

The Patriots have divvied up reps between Garoppolo and Brady with the first team throughout training camp and preseason. Brady will not be allowed to practice or be at the facility during his suspension, with the preseason marking his last extended action with his teammates until reinstatement in Week 5.

The Patriots have rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett to round out the quarterback depth chart.