The Patriots have traded third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for receiver Phillip Dorsett.
Brissett, entering his second season in the NFL, was behind Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo on the depth chart, although he played well in limited opportunities in the preseason and during Brady’s suspension at the start of the 2016 season.
A trade to the Colts makes sense because of uncertainty surrounding quarterback Andrew Luck, who has not practiced during the preseason because of a shoulder injury and appeared unlikely to play in the season opener.
Colts owner Jim Irsay said Friday “the odds are most likely he probably won’t open up against the Rams.’’ But Irsay also said it had not been ruled out.
Luck was on the physically unable to perform list throughout camp, but was removed Saturday. If he had started the regular season on the list, he would have been ineligible to come off until after six games.
Brissett was the only quarterback the Patriots used in their final preseason game vs. the Giants. He completed 28 of 39 passes for 341 yards and four touchdowns. Coach Bill Belichick was pleased with his performance Thursday.
“I thought that Jacoby and really all of our players last night competed really hard,’’ Belichick said Friday. “They gave great effort. They competed all the way until the final gun. Some things were good and some things clearly could have been better – plays that we’d all like to have back. But, certainly more good than bad.’’
“Positive performance by Jacoby – really by most of the players. … I thought he did a good job and did a good job of leading the team and thought that the team responded well to him, as well.’’
Dorsett was a 2015 first-round draft pick out of Miami. The 5-10, 185-pound receiver is fast – he ran a 4.33 at the scouting combine ahead of the draft – and could help the Patriots as a punt returner, a position of need following injuries to Julian Edelman and Cyrus Jones in the preseason.
Last season, Dorsett had 33 receptions for 528 yards and two touchdowns.