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Patriots notebook

Brady’s status up in the air

He practices, but he’s listed as questionable

Wide receiver Randy Moss was in role reversal at practice yesterday. Wide receiver Randy Moss was in role reversal at practice yesterday. (Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff)
By Monique Walker and Albert R. Breer
Globe Staff / December 12, 2009

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FOXBOROUGH - In the hoopla this week surrounding players showing up late for meetings and getting sent home, the Patriots have been busy monitoring injuries affecting quarterback Tom Brady.

Brady missed two practices and had limited participation yesterday with rib, right shoulder, and right finger injuries. Officially, he is questionable for tomorrow’s game against Carolina, which means there is a 50-50 chance he will play. Before the injury report was released yesterday, Brady was caught at his locker and said he is “fine.’’ He later added, “Don’t worry about me.’’

Before the Miami game last Sunday, questions surfaced about Brady’s finger, an injury added to the report days before the game. Complicating matters, Brady took a tough hit after completing a 58-yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss on the first drive of the game. Brady was belted from both sides and went to the locker room briefly before returning for the next drive. The Patriots said he had an arm injury, but he returned and completed 19 of 29 passes for 352 yards and two touchdowns in the 22-21 loss. Two days later, Brady’s second son was born and within 24 hours he was back at Gillette Stadium preparing for the Panthers.

Coach Bill Belichick said he expects that “Tom will do what he always does, which is do everything he possibly can to be as ready as he can be’’ to play tomorrow.

Missing a quarterback during practice isn’t ideal, but Belichick said it is to be expected at this point in the season.

“We’ve played 12 regular-season games, you’re talking about guys that sometimes don’t practice, but have played 8, 10, 12 years,’’ Belichick said.

“But can those guys still go out and be effective and play? Yeah. I think they can. Is it better for them to practice? Sure it is, if everyone’s 100 percent healthy, they’d all be out there at practice. That would be ideal. But it’s not always ideal, and I don’t think that means you can’t be functional.’’

Burgess takes blame
Linebacker Derrick Burgess said he gave himself an hour to get to the stadium on time Wednesday for a team meeting, but it wasn’t enough as he, along with Moss, Adalius Thomas, and Gary Guyton, arrived late and all were sent home. Burgess took responsibility but said the action taken against him was a surprise.

“I ain’t been sent home since high school,’’ he said. “Come on, man, sent home? Nah . . . Shocked is one of the words you could use, but I was more disappointed in myself. “Next time, I’ll leave an hour-and-a-half to get to the stadium.’’

He did hint that he wasn’t happy with the decision. “What would your reaction be? My reaction was the same as yours. There you go. Had to deal with it,’’ he said.

But he was sure to put the blame on himself.

“I was disappointed, you dig?’’ he said. “I’ve got to be disappointed in myself. That’s it.’’

Guyton also addressed the media, but said he would only talk about Carolina. Guyton was asked if missing Wednesday would affect his preparation for the week. “It’s all preparation,’’ he said. “We all come in and prepare the best we can.’’

On Thursday, Thomas explained the circumstances and his feelings about being sent home. Belichick’s response yesterday was, “My focus is on the Carolina Panthers, that’s what I’ve been working on all week.’’

Injury updates
No players were ruled out for tomorrow, with running back Fred Taylor questionable, offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer probable after missing two weeks with a head injury, and defensive lineman Myron Pryor doubtful with a chest injury.

Also listed as questionable were Sam Aiken (shoulder), Tully Banta-Cain (shoulder), Julian Edelman (forearm), Jarvis Green (knee), Nick Kaczur (ankle), Stephen Neal (ankle), and Ty Warren (ankle).

For Carolina, quarterback Jake Delhomme is out with a broken right finger. The Panthers said Matt Moore is expected to get the start.

Husker Heisman?
Defensive lineman Titus Adams thinks it’s time for a defensive tackle to win the Heisman Trophy. Adams, who played at Nebraska, is rooting for fellow Cornhusker Ndamukong Suh, who is among the five finalists for the Heisman that will be announced tonight. “Oh, man, hey, I say Suh for Heisman, especially being from Nebraska,’’ Adams said. “When I was there at Nebraska, I got to meet him and he was a great kid. All the other [Heisman candidates] are great players, but I like Big Suh.’’

Michael Vega of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Monique Walker can be reached at mwalker@globe.com.

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