FOXBOROUGH — Tom Brady, who acknowledged Monday that he was “a little sore,” missed practice Wednesday as the Patriots began their on-field preparations for Sunday’s matchup in Buffalo.
It’s the second straight Wednesday the quarterback has sat out the full-pads session because of an Achilles’ tendon issue, according to the practice report. Last week Brady said he used the day to get “a little extra treatment.”
Brady was spotted briefly in the locker room after practice and had a bandage on his left elbow, the result of a cut he suffered last Sunday against the Dolphins, though there was no mention of that on the practice report.
This could become a late-season routine for the 40-year-old Brady, who also took routine maintenance days toward the end of last season.
Brady was sacked once but hit eight times against the Dolphins and talked about the game during his weekly appearance on Westwood One Radio Monday night.
“[Miami’s] always had a good defense, and they’ve always had a good pass rush,” he said. “There are definitely plays where I’m getting hit, and that’s part of football . . . It’s a defensive line that’s very aggressive and they play hard, to the echo of the whistle; that’s their style of play.”
Devin McCourty said he has absolutely zero concern about Brady’s availability for Sunday’s game.
“He always does what he needs to do to be out there. He takes great care of his body,’’ McCourty said. “Mentally, he’s always prepared. I mean, you saw that last year. He missed the first four games and came back like he had been there all season. So, that’s one guy, that all of us on the team, that you shouldn’t spend any extra minutes worrying about is Brady. He’ll take care of himself and what he needs to do.’’
Brady’s absence meant double duty for backup Brian Hoyer, who ran the first-unit offense and the scout team.
“It was fun,’’ said Hoyer. “It was a lot of fun.’’
Also missing from practice were receiver Chris Hogan (shoulder), linebacker Trevor Reilly (head), and offensive tackles Marcus Cannon and LaAdrian Waddle, both of whom are dealing with ankle injuries.
Hogan and Reilly walked out without pads and were headed to the lower rehab field as the portion of practice that the media is allowed to attend wrapped up. Hogan hasn’t been spotted on the field since being injured in Week 8 vs. the Chargers. Reilly was hurt in a head-to-head collision last Sunday.
Center David Andrews, who missed the last two games with an illness that struck him while the team was training in Colorado Springs, was back at practice.
Andrews, listed as limited, declined to say whether it was altitude sickness that knocked him out.
“Well, you know, it was just something I had to deal with internally and so I’m getting better and getting better each day,’’ he said. “I feel good. Just trying to get better each day and just, you know, preparing and getting ready to get back in there as soon as possible.’’
Andrews also refused to say whether he had fully regained his pre-sickness strength.
“Yeah, I don’t know, it’s just, I’ve been fortunate to be able to get out there and keep working, so that’s just what I’m going to do,’’ said Andrews, who added that he was proud of the job the line did in his absence but that “it was definitely tough sitting out sometimes and watching it.’”
On the lookout
New linebacker Nicholas Grigsby was at practice wearing the No. 50 worn for the last nine seasons by recently retired fan favorite Rob Ninkovich.
Bill Belichick said Wednesday the team had been tracking Grigsby, a special teams ace, for some time.
“I thought at the end of the year last year for the Rams he did a good job for them. Not just in our game, but kind of that last — I don’t know, third of the season — whatever it was, that he did a solid job for them,’’ said the coach. “We saw that when he was released at the beginning of the year this year and talked about him then. It didn’t really work out at that time and we didn’t have a roster spot. But as time went along we got into a situation last week where we felt like adding him to the roster would benefit the team.’’
New England’s special teams lost Nate Ebner (knee) for the season last Sunday and has been without Matthew Slater (hamstring) for a good chunk of time, including the last two weeks.
Trey Flowers (ribs), Kyle Van Noy (calf), and Marquis Flowers (knee), all of whom were hurt and left the game against the Dolphins, were at practice and listed as limited. Danny Amendola (knee), Eric Rowe (groin), and Slater also were limited . . . Offensive tackle Andrew Jelks, who had been practicing the last few weeks, was not activated and now reverts back to the reserve/non-football injury list . . . McCourty had words of support of Greg Schiano, his former coach at Rutgers. Schiano secured and then lost the University of Tennessee job over the weekend when the school changed course. “I think it’s terrible the news and what happened with that whole thing,’’ McCourty said. “I mean, I played under him for five years — great character, coached us the right way, huge on discipline. So to see something that kind of came out that wasn’t fair to him and was really untrue, and the time we live in where social media has such a huge impact and kind of lost a job over that, was terrible.’’ . . . Rob Gronkowski bounced out of the locker room in a T-shirt, shorts, slides, and an open full-length Canada Goose parka with a fur-lined hood. “Getting a lot of comments on my jacket — that must mean it’s fresh,’’ said the smiling tight end. “Report that. My jacket’s fresh.’’