Report: Patriots' Tom Brady will make preseason debut Friday

ByABC News
August 25, 2016, 9:30 PM

— -- Tom Brady will play in the New England Patriots' preseason game Friday night against the Carolina Panthers, according to a report by

Brady is making the trip to Carolina with the team, according to ESPN and multiple reports. It is unknown whether Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo will start at quarterback, or how many series either will play, according to the report.

Garoppolo started the first two preseason games for the Pats, playing the entire first half against the Saints on Aug. 11 and through the first series of the third quarter against the Bears on Aug. 18.

In all, he has played 84 snaps, and rookie Jacoby Brissett has played 54.

Brady has yet to play in the preseason. Since he became the starter in the 2001 season, there has been just one preseason in which he hasn't played a game, in 2008.

Brady will serve a four-game suspension to begin the regular season as the team turns to Garoppolo as its starter. This will mark the first season since 2001 that a quarterback other than Brady starts the regular-season opener for the Patriots.

Earlier this week, Brady talked about why live game action in the preseason is so crucial for his development.

"You're getting hit, so just the space awareness, guys around you, and ball security and things like that," he said. "For the last 30 practices quarterbacks aren't touched. [In a game] just standing there in the pocket, holding the ball knowing that they're coming to get the ball and knock it out of your hands, hitting the ground, those types of things and so forth are important.

"You just have to feel things out and the game is really the only place to get it because it's regular speed. You don't know what's coming."

Asked if he truly needed game reps, Brady said, "I don't think any of them hurt, so I think just do the best you can do. We're preparing a lot of guys to get ready to play. I fit into that, but so do a lot of other guys. I'm just taking the advice of Coach [Bill Belichick], and whatever he wants to do, I'm going to do everything I can to be ready to go when I am called upon. That's what my responsibility is so that's what I'm preparing to do."

Brady also touched on another reason he wants to play; at 39 years old, he's closer to the end of his career than the start.

"I'm getting so many opportunities left in my life, so I'd like to take advantage of any opportunity, any and all of them if possible," he said. "When you see your teammates out there in their uniforms and ready to go, you want to be out there with them."

ESPN Patriots reporter Mike Reiss contributed to this report.