Patriots: Can Jarrett Stidham leapfrog Brian Hoyer by end of 2020?

Is Patriots project Jarrett Stidham capable of reclaiming the backup QB job from Brian Hoyer?

We’re old enough to remember when media members were asserting Jarrett Stidham would win the quarterback competition over Cam Newton after the Patriots signed the former MVP to a one-year contract back in June.

Those were the same pundits who questioned Newton’s fit with the Patriots and claimed that the coaching staff would actually prioritize their loyalty to and reported fondness of the 2019 fourth-round pick over winning games.

Well, their scorching takes were proven to be delusional yet again after the former MVP’s near-flawless debut with the team, in which he totaled 230 yards from scrimmage and two rushing touchdowns, leading New England to a comfortable victory over Miami.

Not only did Stidham lose out to Newton following a mysterious hip injury and a poor showing at training camp, but he was also labeled a healthy scratch for Sunday’s game. This all but confirms that he’s dropped to the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart, and it really makes you ponder if he can reclaim the backup job, which he held last year, from Brian Hoyer.

The rumblings out of camp suggested that the Patriots’ coaching staff was frustrated with how little Stidham revealed about his injury, which makes you speculate if it happened during a non-football related activity. Whatever the case, the 24-year-old subsequently found himself in head coach Bill Belichick’s doghouse, which is somewhere no player ever wants to be.

Speaking of the injury, Stidham wasn’t listed on New England’s official injury report on Friday, so it appears that he’s fully recovered. That suggests the team, at this current time, has a lot more conviction in Hoyer running the offense in the event that Newton battled an injury.

That’s understandable when you consider that Hoyer has 11 years of NFL experience — across which he’s attempted close 1,500 passes — under his belt. Stidham, meanwhile, played just 15 offensive snaps as a rookie in 2019.

Despite all that, we’d still say that Stidham has a chance, even if it is slim, to leapfrog the 34-year-old for the No. 2 QB spot. The Patriots trusted him to be the lone backup to Tom Brady once upon a 2019, and we see no reason why he couldn’t reclaim that role, as long as everything regarding his relationship with the team was on the up and up.

With that being said, it obviously isn’t going to happen overnight, and he’ll need to work his tail off to get back in the good graces of the coaching staff. Clearly, the early-offseason luster has dissipated, and the team’s goals for 2020 don’t involve the Auburn product receiving meaningful snaps.

Next: Cam Newton Trolls Dolphins After Postgame Scuffle