Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is expected to play Friday against the Buccaneers, a team source told FOXSports.com’s Mike Garafolo.
Brady left Wednesday’s practice with a knee injury, and initial reports indicated that it was potentially serious. But that turned out to be a false alarm, and Brady did not sustain any structural damage.
”I’m good,” Brady told reporters after practice Thursday. ”You can all go home.”
The Patriots have been practicing against the Bucs this week, and Brady sustained his injury when Tampa Bay defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn pushed Patriots left tackle Nate Solder into Brady. A source told the Associated Press that Brady sprained his left knee and an MRI was negative.
The initial concern about Brady’s injury came because he tore the ACL in that same knee in the season opener of 2008 and missed the rest of the season.
Brady’s presence will be particularly important this season, with the Patriots overhauling their wide receiver corps. Both of New England’s top receivers from last season — Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd — left the team in the offseason. Tight end Aaron Hernandez also is no longer part of the team, and fellow tight end Rob Gronkowski has been fighting a slew of injuries.
Expected to fill the starting receiver spots this season are Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson, both of whom are new to the Patriots. Only two current receivers have ever caught a regular-season pass from Brady — Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater.