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 players got a refresher on NFL social media policy because of Brown

Patriots players got a refresher on NFL social media policy because of Brown

FOXBORO -- Antonio Brown's live stream of coach Mike Tomlin's postgame speech on Sunday had a ripple effect that traveled all the way to New England: Just in case Patriots players weren't familiar with the league's social-media policy, they were reminded of it this week. 

"We were reminded of that," receiver Chris Hogan said. "I’m not sure what the timing is, but obviously, I don’t think we’ll see guys doing that in the locker room."

Players are prohibited from using social media in the locker room until media outlets have been given an opportunity to talk to players following games. Brown's Facebook Live video, which garnered national attention almost as soon as it went online, was shot well before the visitor's locker room at Arrowhead Stadium opened following Pittsburgh's win over Kansas City.

"We have a team policy on that," special teams captain Matthew Slater said. "Strictly enforced. We go from there."

Of course part of the reason the video became as widely disseminated as it did was because it caught Tomlin calling the Patriots "a--holes."

"I have a lot of respect for Coach Tomlin," Slater said when asked about Tomlin's speech. "I appreciate the way he prepares his team. I’ve had a good working relationship with him over the years, and it will continue to be that way."

Both Slater and Hogan insisted that their focus will be trained solely on preparing for what Tomlin and his players will do when they arrive to Gillette Stadium Sunday night -- not what they say leading up to kickoff.

"You come in here, you're automatically bought into what we preach here, what coach [Bill] Belichick preaches," Hogan said. "It's football. We're 100 percent football here. It's not about anything outside. Between the media or whatever it is outside of football, whatever we're doing. When we come here, it's 100 percent football. That's all we're focused on is the opponent we're playing that week."

Whether Goodell visits Foxboro or not, Patriots players say they don't care

Whether Goodell visits Foxboro or not, Patriots players say they don't care

FOXBORO -- Roger Goodell will reportedly be in Atlanta for the NFC Championship Game this weekend and therefore will miss the AFC title game between the Patriots and Steelers at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. His absence will mean he hasn't been to a Patriots game in more than two years, when he was present for the AFC title game in 2015 -- the birth of Deflategate. 

It's news that broke on Tuesday and sent some Patriots fans into an uproar. Patriots players, though, sound like they're having a hard time caring one way or the other.

"He’s the commissioner, so obviously whatever he wants to do, he can do," Tom Brady told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Monday. "If he wants to come, that would be -- yeah, he can come."

In the Patriots locker room on Tuesday, others struck a similar tone.

"I could not care less," said Patriots receiver Chris Hogan. "I'm focused on Pittsburgh and their defense and studying them as much as I can this week, watching them as much as I can so that I can go out there on Sunday and be prepared."

Special teams captain Matthew Slater was similarly disinterested in the discussion.

"The game's going to be played," he said. "Whoever's in attendance is in attendance. We'll just worry about trying to play well."