Quarterback Tom Brady traveled with his Patriots teammates to Carolina for New England’s third preseason game against the Panthers, a source told the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe.

This increases the chances Brady, who sat out the Patriots’ first two preseason games, will play Friday against the Panthers.

Brady missed the Patriots’ preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints to attend memorial services for a family member. He then went home after slicing his thumb with scissors prior to the Patriots’ second preseason game against the Chicago Bears, and he was excused from practice Sunday and Monday to tend to a personal matter.

An NFL team’s third preseason game typically is when starters play the deepest. That could mean the Patriots will want to see plenty of Jimmy Garoppolo, who will start the first four games of the regular season as Brady serves his Deflategate suspension. Perhaps Brady will play a series or two to get in some game action before his four-week break.

Brady said this week he wants to play against the Panthers.

“I’d like to be out there every time I get a chance to play, so you only get so many opportunities a year,” Brady said Tuesday. “I’m getting so many opportunities left in my life, so I’d like to take advantage of any opportunity, any and all of them if possible. When you see your teammates out there in their uniforms and ready to go, you want to be out there with them.”

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images