And if they have to go to a fourth, they'll be down one of their best wide receivers.
That's because during the team's upcoming game against the Houston Texas during Thursday Night Football, wideout Julian Edelman will serve as the team's backup.
As far as emergency quarterbacks go, you could certainly do a lot worse. Edelman started at QB for three years at Kent State. During his senior year he threw for 1,820 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions in 12 games, while also leading the team in rushing with 1,370 yards and 13 more touchdowns on the ground; in the process, he broke Joshua Cribbs' school record for total offense in a season.
Here's nine full minutes of Edelman crushing it as Kent State's signal-caller.
One person not super stoked to see relatively diminutive Edelman under center in the NFL? His own dad.
“I’d be a nervous wreck watching. Jules has been out of that quarterback position for eight years," Frank Edelman told ESPN. "We’re not really good at winging it — that’s not in our DNA. We’ve got to study for a test. And he’s added muscle for the punishment he has to take as a receiver, so he might have tighter mechanics trying to throw the ball. Can Jules do it? Yeah, he could definitely do it. But could he do it well? I’m just not sure. I don’t know how many picks he would throw. I’ll say this: He does know the offense like the back of his hand. That wouldn’t be a problem.”
If it goes anything like the one and only pass to Edelman's credit in his NFL career, the Patriots should be just fine.