FOXBORO -- Any time Tom Brady misses practice, it's news. When Vince Wilfork is out as well, it's cause for concern in New England.
Both missed practices this week because of "non-injury related" reasons. They were back on the practice field Friday, surely to the relief of Patriots fans everywhere.
But was there ever a real worry that Brady and Wilfork wouldn't play Sunday against the Broncos? Bill Belichick, predictably, didn't relinquish much information on why the two most well-known Patriots captains were out.
"We list them (on the injury report) based on the way they are," Belichick said plainly.
Well, were they sick? Do illnesses need to be listed on the injury report?
"Yeah, sure," Belichick answered.
Belichick wouldn't say if he was simply resting two of his stars for the stretch run of the season. Whatever the reason was that they didn't practice, Belichick wasn't saying.
"There could be a lot of reasons," he said." "Personal reasons. A guy could have to go to a funeral. Maybe he has a family issue that he needs to attend to. Maybe it's what you said. I don't know. If it's not injury related, it's not injury related. If it's injury related, then we list it.
"I don't know what you guys are looking for," Belichick told reporters. "If a guy has an injury, then we list the injury. If he doesn't have an injury, then we say it's not injury-related. What am I missing here? I'm confused."
Belichick summed up his thoughts on the situation by relaying a general principle held throughout Foxboro when it comes to addressing players' personal issues.
"You know, we don't talk about players' personal situations," he said. "If they want to talk about it, if there is something to talk about whatever it is . . . It's personal. I don't think that necessarily has to be shared with the rest of the world. Could be, but it doesn't have to be."