Brian Hoyer, the Patriots’ starting quarterback, was hit during Sunday’s final 27-24 overtime loss to the Packers and was later diagnosed with a brain injury.
Before going to the locker room in the first quarter, Hoyer spent some time in the medical tent.
Hoyer was replaced at quarterback by Western Kentucky rookie Bailey Zappe. The Patriots made their selection of Zappe in the fourth round of this year’s draught. During his lone season at Western Kentucky, Zappe passed for 5,967 yards and 62 touchdowns.
After starting quarterback Mac Jones of New England was forced to leave Week 3’s loss to the Ravens due to an ankle injury, Hoyer took over for the rest of the contest on Sunday.
Hoyer finished the game 5 of 6 for 37 yards.
In his first NFL game, Zappe displayed excellent performance, completing 10 of 15 passes for 99 yards and one touchdown.
After intercepting quarterback Aaron Rodgers on the opening play and taking over at their own 49-yard line, the Patriots had an unlikely chance to win in OT.
As the clock approached zero, they went three-and-out, and Rodgers marched the Packers 12 plays from their own 10-yard line to set up Mason Crosby’s 31-yard winning field goal.
In the end, Patriots coach Bill Belichick observed, “Rodgers was simply too excellent.” “I think Bailey competed well,” said Bailey, “He made several passes that only Rodgers could make.”
After taking a brutal hit during a sack, veteran Patriots backup Brian Hoyer, who began in place of the injured Mac Jones, passed out during the second series. After being examined for a head injury, Hoyer was declared out of the game by the team at the start of the second quarter.
Hoyer was replaced by Zappe, a fourth-round selection out of Western Kentucky. He completed 10-of-15 passes for 99 yards and one touchdown while also taking three sacks.
This season’s first touchdown pass by an NFL rookie was a 25-yarder to DeVante Parker in the third quarter.
“Playing in an NFL game was a dream come true at first,” he remarked. “Clearly, it’s not at all what we had in mind.
Zappe responded, “Probably after the first play, after the first handoff,” when asked whether he felt comfortable. As soon as everything calmed down, I simply began handing the ball to the playmakers and watching them excel at what they do.
The effort was applauded by his teammates.
Veteran Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon remarked, “I want to give tremendous credit to Zappe, the way he stood up in that game. “I don’t think he had a lot of practice time with the starters, and the way he performed and the composure he showed, that’s unbelievable for a rookie. That benefits our group.
Receiver Kendrick Bourne continued, “Really at ease. He appeared to be prepared for the big stage, boisterous audience, and Lambeau Field. I was happy with the guy. Really remarkable, I must say.
After the game, Rodgers and Zappe met on the field.
He simply wished me luck for the remainder of the journey, and I reciprocated. Congratulations for playing for the first time, he added, and that was all.
Hoyer came home with the team after the game, according to Belichick, who did not provide any additional information about his condition at his Monday morning videoconference.
Rashan Gary of the Packers charged into 36-year-old quarterback Brian Hoyer on the play that resulted in his injury. Gary was up against right tackle Isaiah Wynn at the time.
Hoyer entered the blue portable medical tent on the sideline and left after approximately five minutes to proceed to the locker room for more assessment.
Hoyer had led the Patriots to an early 3-0 lead with a 10-play, 56-yard opening drive that ended in a field goal from 37 yards away.
He was filling in for Jones, who departed the game against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3 with a high left ankle injury.
On their 53-man roster, the Patriots don’t have any other quarterbacks. Receiver Jakobi Meyers, one of their backup options, was out Sunday due to a knee ailment.
After the game, Belichick refused to say who the fourth player would have been if Zappe had been hurt. But he admitted that when Hoyer was ruled out, backup options were explored.
Tight end Jonnu Smith, who left the game late in the second quarter after limping off, was another Patriots player who had to leave due to injury. Smith went to the locker room for a checkup. In the third quarter, he was declared ineligible due to an ankle injury.
The Detroit Lions will visit the Patriots on Sunday, who currently hold sole ownership of last place in the AFC East with a 1-3 record.
After Week 1, 2014 marked the last time the Patriots were in exclusive possession of last place in the AFC East. They held last place outright for all 17 weeks of Belichick’s first season, 2000, the only other time they’ve finished last place outright in the league.