With the early media frenzy of Super Bowl week over, the two teams playing in the big game returned to practice today with the New England Patriots holding a two-hour, full-pads session at the Minnesota Vikings’ indoor facility. And as has been the case the last time they were spotted on a practice field, the team once again had perfect participation.
According to pool reporter Nicki Jhabvala, “quarterback Tom Brady, wearing only black tape on his injured right (throwing) hand, practiced in full and led the offense through passing and red-zone drills to start, then situational 11-on-11 football. By his side for much of the workout was tight end Rob Gronkowski, who practiced in pads and was listed as limited as he works his way through the concussion protocol.”
According to the pool report, Gronkowski was “red-jerseyed” and wasn’t open for contact. However, during his media availability following practice, head coach Bill Belichick said that the tight end was not wearing the red jersey. The injury report released after the pool report adds to what Jhabvala has been reporting:
Did not participate
Eagles: DT Timmy Jernigan (illness)
Jernigan is a core member of Philadelphia's defensive tackle rotation, so his injury status is one to keep an eye on. Still, at this point in time he is expected to be ready for Sunday's game.
Patriots: CB Malcolm Butler (illness) TE Rob Gronkowski (concussion), DL Deatrich Wise (concussion), DB Brandon King (knee)
While Gronkowski remains limited and in the concussion protocol, he spoke at an event on Tuesday night and expressed his expectation that he will be cleared to play on Sunday. The same goes for Wise Jr., who is also in the concussion protocol. Malcolm Butler, who is dealing with an illness since the weekend, was limited today but should be good to go. He, just like special teamer Brandon King, is a new addition to the list.
Eagles: RB Jay Ajayi (ankle), DT Fletcher Cox (calf), LB Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring)
No surprises on the list of full participants for the Eagles. All three players should be ready to play on Sunday.
Tom Brady, who had the stitches removed from his hand and is getting back to full health, was not listed on the injury report. Neither was defensive tackle Malcom Brown, who practiced only once last week because of a knee injury.