Tom Brady to Play Vs. Panthers? ‘I Hope to Be Out There'

The Carolina Panthers will have their franchise quarterback, Cam Newton, on the field Thursday night at Gillette Stadium for their Week 3 preseason game against the New England Patriots. Will the Patriots do the same with their starting QB?

Tom Brady wants to play, and the 42-year-old quarterback made that clear Tuesday morning on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show."

"I hope so," Brady said. "I hope so. Again, we had practice yesterday and we have practice today, and then we will see what coach decides. I hope to be out there. We'll see what happens."

Brady has not played in the first two preseason games against the Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans. Backup quarterback Brian Hoyer and rookie Jarrett Stidham have played instead, and both of them have performed well. 

The Patriots have some new faces at wide receiver this summer, most notably rookies N'Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers. These first-year players have never caught a pass from Brady in an actual game setting, so building on the chemistry they've started to develop in practice would be one reason to give Brady some playing time versus the Panthers. 

The third preseason game also is typically when starters play for an extended period of time. It's a good opportunity to see where the offense and defense stand after a full training camp. Therefore, we can't be surprised that Newton, as well as Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, are going to play Thursday.

The Patriots would be wise to do the same and get their No. 1s plenty of time together before the regular seasons begins Sept. 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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