FOXBORO -- It will be Jimmy Garoppolo, not Ryan Mallett, who starts the fourth preseason game for the Patriots on Thursday night against the Giants.
According to a report from ESPN, the rookie second-round pick will play most of the game, if not all of it. Bill Belichick and the Patriots staff have not, however, selected a backup.
"I'm excited about it," Garoppolo said before practice Monday. "It's a good opportunity to get out there and get some quality reps so it's going to be fun."
Garoppolo explained that he didn't necessarily come in with the mindset that he was gunning for the backup job to starter Tom Brady, but he hopes the way in which he has prepared will have him ready for whatever role the team asks him to fill.
"I came in with the mindset that I'm gonna practice and study as if I'm the starter," Garoppolo said. "If you want to be a successful player in this league, you have to take the mental reps, the physical reps and you have to take advantage of your opportunities."
He's done that to this point in the preseason, going 24-for-37 for 330 yards and 4 touchdowns without an interception in three games.
Garoppolo backed up Mallett in preseason game No. 1 against the Redskins, then subbed in for Tom Brady against the Eagles in preseason game No. 2 after Mallett dealt with injuries in the week leading up to the contest. Last week against the Panthers, Garoppolo was the third quarterback in the game but got significantly more snaps than Mallett (seven snaps), who entered into the in the first quarter.