Football / Sports

Patriots QB Tom Brady held out of practice with calf issue

DAVIE, Fla. -- Tom Brady has seemingly spent the past decade on the New England Patriots' injury report with a never-ending shoulder problem, or some insignificant injury designation that has allowed the Patriots to skirt the NFL's injury rules.

So it doesn't surprise anyone that the 15-year veteran surfaced on New England's injury report on Thursday. He's always on it.

What is surprising is that Brady missed all of the Patriots' Thursday practice with a calf injury.

Brady typically practices with his team, and Thursday's session is one of the two critical practices in the NFL, so to sit this one out means the 37-year-old's calf must create some discomfort.

Does that mean Brady will miss Sunday's season-opener against the Dolphins, which will be played inside Sun-Life Stadium at 1 p.m.?

Probably not. Brady hasn't missed a game since tearing his ACL in the second game of the 2008 season.

But Brady's calf problems are certainly something the Dolphins will be monitoring, especially since Brady had an undisclosed hand injury in the first game Miami faced New England last year.

That hand injury impacted Brady's performance in that 27-17 come-from-behind win by New England, but it took the Dolphins and the nation by surprise, and was possibly a violation of the NFL's injury report rules since his status wasn't changed on Saturday.

If Brady isn't healthy enough to play, rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, New England's second-round pick, will start Sunday's game.

Garoppolo, who set records at Eastern Illinois, completed 46 of 79 passes in the exhibition season, throwing for 618 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. Garoppolo beat out Ryan Mallett for the No. 2 spot, and Mallett was traded to the Houston Texans earlier this week.

But the odds of Garoppolo starting Sunday's game against the Dolphins, much less playing in it, are slim considering Brady has started 80 consecutive regular season games.

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