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Monday, August 31, 2009
Brady expects to be ready for opener

ESPN.com news services

Tom Brady, who injured his shoulder in New England's preseason game against Washington last week, said Monday that he expects to play "this week, if Coach lets me."

Brady
Brady

Brady took a crushing hit from Washington Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth and left the game at Washington. Patriots coach Bill Belichick said over the weekend that Brady had a sore shoulder, but was removed from the game so the Patriots could evaluate their backup quarterbacks.

"I have bumps and bruises," Brady said in his weekly appearance on Boston radio station WEEI. "It's a physical game. Like I said, I fell a little bit awkwardly, but I'm expecting to be out there and I'm expecting to play this week, if Coach let's me. We'll just see how the week goes."

Is there a chance Brady won't play?

"Well, I mean, there's a chance I won't make it down to the stadium in the next 30 minutes," Brady told WEEI. "... There's a lot of time before that game."

Brady said he's relying on the team's doctors and trainers, and that he's prepared to be hit in games. "I'm confident in the way that I train so I'm prepared for those," he said on WEEI. "Some of those you can't avoid, like last year, but it's really part, it's part of the job description. Anybody who plays this game needs be willing to play it less than 100 percent of perfect, which, after that first training camp practice, nobody is 100 percent."

Despite several questions, Brady wasn't any more forthcoming on his shoulder.

"What does it matter?" he said. "We don't play for two weeks. The reality is no matter what I say, you know, no matter how confident I am, we're just going to have to wait until Sept. 14, or hopefully, this Thursday, if Coach lets us play. I mean, traditionally, he doesn't let us play in this game, but if he wants me to play, I'll play."

On Monday, Brady stretched with his teammates, at one point sitting with his legs outstretched and reaching with both arms to touch his toes. He handed off to running backs during the 15 minutes the practice was open to the media.

Backup quarterbacks Andrew Walter, a former Oakland Raider, and rookie Brian Hoyer, a free agent from Michigan State, also handed off and none of the quarterbacks threw during that period.

Quarterback Kevin O'Connell, projected to be Brady's backup, was cut Monday.

The Patriots could seek a more experienced quarterback before the season in case Brady is sidelined at any point.

New England also released long snapper Nathan Hodel on Monday, leaving rookie Jake Ingram, a sixth-round draft pick from Hawaii, to handle that job.

The Patriots made three other moves, placing rookie linebacker Tyrone McKenzie on injured reserve, tackle Mark LeVoir on the reserve/physically unable to perform list and wide receiver Brandon Tate on the reserve/non-football injury list.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.