New England Patriots veteran quarterback Tom Brady said he’s proud of the way his young receivers competed in their 10-3 preseason win over the Carolina Panthers on Thursday at Gillette Stadium. The 42-year-old Brady completed eight of 12 passes for 75 yards before turning over the reins midway through the second quarter to rookie Jarrett Stidham, who went 15-of-19 for 134 yards as the Patriots improved to 3-0 in the preseason. After the game, Brady made his assessment on the offense, especially on his young wide receivers.

As reported by Patriots.com, he said, “You know, they really haven’t had many veteran guys out there to show them the way, so they’ve just been kind of learning on the fly,” said Brady, who recently signed a two-year contract extension worth $70 million.

The Patriots played without Brady’s favorite target Julian Edelman and newly acquired veteran wideout, Demaryius Thomas. Edelman and Thomas both worked out in one of the practice fields outside Gillette Stadium, but they did not suit up for the game.

Edelman was recently activated from the non-football injury list due to a broken thumb while Thomas was recently removed from the physically 'unable to perform list' as he continues his comeback from a torn Achilles last season. The Patriots also got a needed boost at wide receiver with the reinstatement of Josh Gordon.

Jakobi Meyers steps up for Patriots

Without their veteran receivers, Jakobi Meyers stepped up for the Patriots as he caught seven passes for 74 yards while Phillip Dorsett had the same number of receptions for 47 yards.

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“I’m proud of the way they competed. We’re just going to keep working together,’ said Brady. The veteran quarterback said the Patriots still have one game left and they will see what happens from there as they determine the players who will make the 53-man roster. Rusher James Develin scored the only touchdown of the game with a one-yard drive to the endzone, capping Brady’s 15-play, 85-yard scoring drive. Nick Brossette carried the ball 14 times for 53 yards while sophomore rusher Sony Michel ran the ball 10 times for 36 yards.

Several Patriots down with injuries

The win over the Panthers proved costly for the Patriots as they lost several players to injury. Among those whose night was cut short were tight end, Ben Watson, running back Damien Harris, special teamer Brandon King, tight end Lance Kendricks, wide receiver Gunner Olszewski, and tight end Stephen Anderson. According to reports, King’s injury was the most severe as he was carted off the field just before halftime after suffering an apparent left leg injury on a punt return.

After King went down, around 20 Patriots players and former teammate Chris Hogan, who now plays for the Panthers, gathered around him to provide encouragement. "Yeah, it’s always hard to see, and we’ve had our fair share over a lot of years of watching these games, being a part of these games," Brady said of his injured teammates.

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