Arlington Heights Native to Play Backup Quarterback in Super Bowl | NBC Chicago
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Arlington Heights Native to Play Backup Quarterback in Super Bowl

Jimmy Garappolo will back up the Patriots' Tom Brady in Sunday's game

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jimmy Garoppolo, from Arlington Heights, is a quarterback for the New England Patriots and will back up Tom Brady in the Super Bowl on Sunday. NBC 5's Peggy Kusinski reports from Phoenix. (Published Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015)

    Sunday is a big day for Arlington Heights native Jimmy Garappolo, who will play backup quarterback for the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX.

    It's unlikely Garappolo will step foot on the playing field, but if Tom Brady becomes injured, Garappolo will be called on to step up to the plate.

    Five years ago, Garappolo, who is 23 years old, was playing football with his three brothers in their Arlington Heights backyard.

    "When we were little we'd play knee football in the living room. Mom didn't like that so much ... a lot of broken things around the house," the quarterback said.

    Garappolo began his football career as quarterback on his high school football team at Rolling Meadows. After graduation he played for Eastern Illinois University, and then he was drafted by the New England Patriots in the 2014 NFL Draft.

    Now, Garappolo heads to the Super Bowl for the chance to cover for one of the team's most famous players.

    "It's something that you dream about since you're a little kid, and now getting the opportunity to be here, it's unbelievable," he said.

    Garappolo has been helping the team practice all week, playing Russell Wilson, the quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. Although he isn't likely to play on Sunday, he's been one of the Patriots' busiest player all week, attending meetings for both offense and defense, just in case.

    "Russell Wilson is Russell Wilson, and Jimmy is Jimmy," said Rob Ninkovich, defensive end for the Patriots. "He's not going to be exactly what we're going to see, but he's done a great job of giving us the best look he can."

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