Another day, another Deflategate update.
This time, it's news that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will not have his appeal of his four-game suspension overturned by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The suspension is for Brady's alleged role in a scheme to doctor the footballs used in a Jan. 18, 2015, playoff game, which now lives in infamy known as Deflategate.
Brady was asking for the full Second Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the case and possibly overturn the suspension. To recap, it was back in April when Brady's four-game suspension was reinstated by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, with the case being heard in front of a limited panel of judges.
Two judges ruled in favor of the NFL, while one judge strongly was against the league's decision to suspend Brady. The three-judge panel ultimately decided that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was within his powers when he suspended Brady for four games, even after that suspension was overturned last year by U.S. District Judge Richard Berman.
Brady's next and perhaps last remaining hope is to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. That's even unlikelier to happen, meaning it now looks more likely than not that Brady misses the first four games of the 2016 season.
Prior to facing the Bengals in Week 6, the Patriots will have a tough four-game slate to open the season with backup Jimmy Garoppolo under center. They open Week 1 at the Cardinals before a home contest vs the Dolphins in Week 2. New England then hosts the Texans in Week 3 and Bills in Week 4.
Brady will then return for a road game against the Browns in Week 5 before New England hosts the Bengals in Week 6, the first game in which Brady will play at home in the regular season this year.
The Patriots will be dealing with a different starting quarterback for the first time since Brady missed time with a torn ACL back in 2008. That year saw the Patriots win 11 games with Matt Cassel, although they did miss the playoffs.
Even with Brady out four games, New England is still probably the favorite to win the AFC East and maybe even snag one of the top two seeds in the AFC. The Bengals hope they have something to say about that when it comes to the latter, and they'll get their shot to beat the Patriots in Week 6 in Foxborough to better that opportunity.