After Roger Goodell, this week, refused to backtrack on the four-game suspension handed down to Tom Brady, the New England Patriots are almost certain to be without the Super Bowl MVP for the early part of the 2015 season.
Without their talismanic leader for the first four games of the campaign, it looks like second-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will be the man to step into Brady's shoes come Week One.
But, as we've all come to expect, Bill Belichick isn't averse to springing surprises. And a trick play caught on camera today during Patriots training camp involving Brady and Julian Edelman certainly throws up some interesting, albeit fanciful, options.
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Indeed, the video (seen below) showing the Patriots offense running through a play today at training camp might suggest that it should be the diminutive wide receiver, Julian Edelman, who should take over the reigns from his good friend Tom Brady.
Brady himself does a pretty good impression of a wide receiver, too. Granted he does so in the safe confines of a red bib.
Brady isn't known for pace, and he is nearly caught as he makes a b-line for the end zone. Edelman, on the other hand, has previous when it comes to finding teammates down field.
Cast your minds back to the New England Patriots' 2014 playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens when the wide receiver did this:
Edelman was actually a quarterback in his high school football days and clearly likes to remind those at the Patriots facility of that fact.
If things continue in this vein, and Tom Brady fails to overturn his suspension in federal court, Jimmy Garoppolo might find himself with some unexpected competition on his hands for that starting quarterback job.
Task at hand
Of course, while trick plays are all well and good, the Patriots staff know that it will be the second-year man out of Eastern Illinois who will be leading the offense come the 2015 season.
While the NFl's ruling this week regarding Tom Brady will have been a blow, it does at least mean that the Patriots have the entirety of training camp, and pre-season, to formulate a game plan around the young quarterback.
And if all else fails? Give the ball to Julian Edelman.
Patriots fans: What will your team's record be when Tom Brady returns from suspension? Make your predictions in the comments below...