Morning sports update: Mike Reiss explained why Jimmy Garoppolo is his ‘bold prediction’ to return to the Patriots

"You could almost envision how the dominos could potentially fall."

Jimmy Garoppolo Patriots 2021
Jimmy Garoppolo in October, 2020. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

On Thursday, the Celtics defeated the Raptors, 120-106. Semi Ojeleye totaled a career high 24 points to lead Boston.

The Celtics play again tonight, facing the Pistons at 8 p.m.

And the Bruins also play tonight, taking on the Rangers at 7 p.m.

Friday is Bill Russell’s 87th birthday. Here’s the Hall of Famer blowing out what appears to be 87 candles:

Mike Reiss on Jimmy Garoppolo: Speaking on ESPN Friday morning, Patriots reporter Mike Reiss discussed how he views Bill Belichick’s possible plans at quarterback in the offseason.

“Tom Brady goes down to Tampa, wins a Super Bowl championship. You’re the Patriots, what is your response to that?” asked Reiss.


“It needs to be bold,” Reiss continued, “and that’s why my bold prediction was that Jimmy Garoppolo will come back and be their starting quarterback this season. Think about it: He was the original succession plan for Brady here in New England. In 2016 when they had to him while Tom was serving that suspension, he was lights out, winning in Arizona that opening week when all the eyes in the NFL were watching him.

“Then the next week, against Miami, he was great in a win against them before he got hurt, and that’s the big thing when we talk about Jimmy,” Reiss noted.

Reiss acknowledged that the Patriots’ path to getting Garoppolo is an uncertain one. The 29-year-old has two years remaining on his current contract with the 49ers, with cap hits of more than $26 million in each season.

Still, if San Francisco pursues another quarterback in the offseason, Garoppolo might become expandable.

“You could almost envision how the dominos could potentially fall,” Reiss noted.

Trivia: Jimmy Garoppolo was the fifth quarterback taken in the 2014 NFL draft. Can you name the four who were taken before him?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: Only one was still playing for the team that drafted him in the 2020 season.


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On this day: In 1994, Norwegian ski jumper Stein Gruben took the Olympic torch off a ski jump at the opening ceremonies of the Lillehammer Olympics.

Gruben was not his country’s first choice, as 33-year-old veteran Ole Gunnar Fidjestol was initially preferred. Given Fidjestol’s experience and success on the world stage (having won a bronze medal at the Calgary Olympics in 1988), he seemed like the safer pair of hands.

But after Fidjestol suffered a concussion in a practice jump shortly before the Games were set to begin, Norway turned to Gruben, a 26-year-old painting major at university.

With the world watching, he calmly stuck the landing and the host nation exhaled.

Daily highlight: Jaylen Brown continued the play all the way through with the steal, spin, and finish.

Trivia answer: Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, and Derek Carr.

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