Brady practices again; Hoyer ready just in case

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Brady practices again; Hoyer ready just in case

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady practiced for the second straight day on Friday after missing Wednesday's practice because of a foot injury.

As for what foot it is, Patriots coach Bill Belichick joked on Friday that it was Brady's "throwing foot."

Belichick said he would further evaluate Brady's injury after Friday's practice, before he makes a decision on the quarterback's status for Sunday night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

But Brady being at practice on Friday should be a sign that he'll be ready to play.

"We'll see how it goes today, and list him accordingly this afternoon," said Belichick prior to Friday's practice at Gillette Stadium. "We'll do the same thing we always do. We'll practice, go through the week, and list his participation in practice based on what it is, and list his status for the game just like we do everybody else's, based on what we think it is, after we get through the whole week, after we get through Friday's practice."

After practice, wide receiver Wes Welker said that he wasn't concerned about Brady's status.

"He seems like he's always got something, and he always shows up on Sundays," said Welker. "So, I'm not worried about that."

In the remote case that Brady does miss Sunday's game, Brian Hoyer would be New England's starting quarterback. Belichick had plenty of praise for Hoyer on Friday.

"I think Brian has been consistent, like he's been all year," said Belichick. "He gets opportunities every week, and maybe a few more this week. He's a very dependable guy who works hard and knows the game plan.

"He's about like he always is, a well-prepared, consistent, focused kid."

Safety Jarrad Page and defensive lineman Myron Pryor were the only two Patriots players missing from practice on Friday.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comdannypicard

Patriots officially side with Brady vs. NFL by filing amicus brief

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Patriots officially side with Brady vs. NFL by filing amicus brief

Robert Kraft and the Patriots organization have been saying for a long time that they hope Tom Brady prevails in his fight with the league over Deflategate. Kraft reiterated that stance on Tuesday at the NFL's annual spring meetings.

But on Wednesday, the Patriots took their support for Brady to a different platform. The team has filed an amicus brief stating that it supports Brady and the NFLPA now that the union has filed a petition to be granted a rehearing by the Second Circuit. 

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, it is a noteworthy move because the last time an NFL team took legal action against league was when late Raiders owner Al Davis sued the NFL. It is important to note, though, as SI.com's Michael McCann explains, that the Patriots have not actually "switched sides" in this instance. As one of 32 teams in the league, they are technically still a part of the NFL Management Council et al. v. NFL Players Association et al. With its amicus brief, however, the team is advocating for a rehearing of a case that the NFL recently won. 

Filing the brief may not necessarily have any legal impact on the case -- judges can ignore the team's opinion in its amicus brief if they so choose -- but its value may be more than simply symbolic in nature. Attorney Daniel Wallach notes that the team's amicus brief covers ground that Brady's petition for rehearing couldn't cover due to page limits. 

On the first page of the amicus brief, in the document's second footnote, the language is strong: "From the outset of this matter, the League's conduct reflects less a search for the truth than pursuit of a pre-determined result and defense of a report which, despite no direct evidence of tampering or Mr. Brady's involvement, was reiled on to impose penalties with no precedent or correlation to the alleged offense."

The Patriots have continued to update The Wells Report in Context, a website that argues the findings of the NFL's investigation into Brady that has also accumulated various reports and scientific studies that support Brady's innocence. But this amicus brief is another way for the team to show that it has its quarterback's back. 

The NFLPA filed its petition for a rehearing on Monday and now awaits a decision from the 13 judges of the Second Circuit as to whether or not they will grant Brady a rehearing.

Statistically speaking, Brady is facing long odds to be given a rehearing, but his legal team believes there's reason for optimism