Tom Brady’s absence from New England Patriots practice could be related to his four-game Deflategate suspension appeal.
Brady plans to attend Wednesday’s federal court hearing in front of U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman in New York, even though it’s voluntary, a source told USA Today’s Tom Pelissero.
Brady was absent from the Patriots’ walk-through practice Tuesday. The Patriots travel to West Virginia on Tuesday afternoon in preparation for Wednesday and Thursday’s joint practices with the New Orleans Saints.
The NFL is mum on whether commissioner Roger Goodell plans to attend Wednesday’s settlement conference.
Missing two consecutive practices could put Brady’s status for Saturday’s preseason game against the Saints in question.
Brady took the majority of practice reps Monday, then he spent 15 minutes talking to Patriots coach Bill Belichick after the training camp session ended. Jimmy Garoppolo took all practice reps Tuesday while Ryan Lindley looked on.
Berman is urging Brady and the NFL to settle, though based on their respective court filings Friday, it appears the parties still are a ways apart. If Brady and the NFL can’t reach a settlement, then Berman will decide by Sept. 4 if the four-game suspension should be upheld.
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