FOXBORO -- The AC joint injury Jimmy Garoppolo suffered in the first half against the Dolphins is going to keep him out of Thursday's game with the Texans.

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But according to a source with knowledge of the injury, Garoppolo isn't necessarily lost for the balance of Tom Brady's four-game suspension. Depending on how inflamed the area is and Garoppolo's level of pain tolerance, he may be able to get back in the lineup. AC joint injuries, it was pointed out, can be injected with painkillers and managed if a player gets close enough to a tolerable level of pain.

Ben Roethlisberger last season had his AC joint blown out by Cincinnati's Vontaze Burfict. He came back the next week against Denver and was 24-for-37 for 339 yards.

Garoppolo, however, would be operating on a short turnaround time, which erases the chance of him being able to get full mobility. The Patriots play the Bills at Foxboro in two weeks and Garoppolo could have a shot at that. It's not a likelihood, and everything will depend on how it responds, but the source said he can't be ruled out yet in the hours after the injury.


It was reported by MassLive's Kevin Duffy that Garoppolo went to the hospital for evaluation. The source said that a hospital-evaluation and MRI would reveal damage to tendons, ligaments and the rotator cuff or any small fractures that may have been sustained.