Brady excused from preseason opener to attend memorial

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) gets set to throw a pass as Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) watches during football training camp, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/AP

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Quarterback Tom Brady has been excused from the Patriots' preseason opener against the Saints to attend the memorial services of a family member.

The team made the announcement prior to Thursday night's game.

Brady has been suspended by the league for the first four games of the regular season for his role the ''Deflategate'' case. That suspension won't begin until Sept. 3, so Brady is eligible to participate in all of the Patriots preseason games.

But coach Bill Belichick has not indicated how he will distribute the preseason snaps between Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo, who will start while Brady is suspended.

AP NFL website: and