Tom Brady and Rob Ninkovich are back! Not 100%, though, as the New England Patriots have received roster exemptions for both players. This means that the two do not yet count against of the Patriots’ roster even though they are already allowed to practice with the team.
Today, they did for the first time since the season – and thus their respective four-game suspensions – started. As for Brady, there is visual proof of his return to the practice fields:
Tom Brady throws another football pic.twitter.com/Fbb2KYSfgA— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) October 5, 2016
Quick video of both Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo getting their arms loose at today's practice. Both spinning it well. pic.twitter.com/ZsxlR1ZlKp— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) October 5, 2016
Brady and Garoppolo played a friendly game of catch at practice. pic.twitter.com/hmBbE9SJME— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) October 5, 2016
Not only Brady’s throwing motion looked as good as usual, backup Jimmy Garoppolo’s did as well.
While both Brady and Ninkovich were on the field, three players were not, as a look at today’s injury report shows:
RB Brandon Bolden (Knee): DNP
LB Shea McClellin (Concussion): DNP
DT Vincent Valentine (Back): DNP
Both Bolden and Valentine left Sunday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills with injuries, so seeing them miss today’s session is hardly a surprise. At first glance, Bolden’s looked potentially devastating but as has been reported earlier, the injury was not considered season-ending on initial testing.
Like Bolden and Valentine, Shea McClellin is a new addition to the injury report. With Dont’a Hightower having returned to the field last week, the team can afford playing it safe with its backup linebacker and potentially keep him out this week.
The injury report does not only include the three absentees as eight players were limited today:
RB LeGarrette Blount (Hip): LP
QB Jacoby Brissett (Thumb): LP
OT Marcus Cannon (Calf): LP
LB Jonathan Freeny (Shoulder): LP
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (Shoulder): LP
TE Rob Gronkowski (Hamstring): LP
LB Dont’a Hightower (Knee): LP
OG Joe Thuney (Shoulder): LP
Blount and Thuney are new additions to the injury report. Given their roles on the team’s offense – both are starters – the Patriots have to keep a close eye on their respective injuries.
While two players were added to the injury report, two were removed: guard Jonathan Cooper (foot) and cornerback Eric Rowe (ankle) are seemingly close enough to full playing strength to no longer be listed.