FOXBORO — (Wire Service Report) — The New England Patriots’ Jacoby Brissett underwent surgery on his right thumb Friday, according to multiple media reports. The third-string quarterback will be placed on injured reserve, clearing a roster spot for Tom Brady to make his season debut Sunday against the Browns in Cleveland. Brady is eligible after serving his four-game suspension for Deflategate.
New England defensive end Rob Ninkovich is also expected to play his first game of 2016 after completing a four-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance. The Patriots already had a roster spot for Ninkovich after releasing tight end Clay Harbor earlier this week.
With Brady back in the fold and No. 2 quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo healthy enough to serve as the backup, New England apparently decided the time was right for Brissett to fix the injury he sustained during the Patriots’ 16-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills last week. Brissett led New England to a 27-0 victory over the Houston Texans on Sept. 22 in his first NFL start after taking over for Garoppolo, who left the Patriots’ 31-24 win over Miami on Sept. 15 with a shoulder injury.