FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots got a scare Wednesday when quarterback Tom Brady limped off the practice field after appearing to hurt his left knee when he was hit after throwing a pass.
Club president Jonathan Kraft told WBZ-FM that he made a call to check on Brady’s condition and it “hopefully did not appear to be that bad.”
Coach Bill Belichick did not talk with reporters after practice and the team made no official comment. Brady’s agent, Donald Yee, did not return an email seeking comment
Brady tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the 2008 season opener and missed the rest of the season, but he’s played every game since then.
Brady had left tackle Nate Solder pushed into him by Tampa Bay defensive end Adrian Clayborn during a joint practice with the Buccaneers.
“You’ve always got to stay away from the quarterback,” Clayborn said. “You got a guy on his heels and my instinct is to keep going, so that’s what I did.”
The contact came after Brady threw a long incompletion down the right sideline toward rookie Aaron Dobson about midway through the session.
“We’re always working to protect,” Solder said. “I’ll have to see what happened on the film. I screwed some things up here and there.”
Brady, a two-time league MVP entering his 14th NFL season, rocked backward on the ground after falling down and held his left knee. He went to the sideline then returned for a few more plays before talking with Belichick and leaving the field for good.
He was met by a member of the team’s athletic training staff and walked to the adjacent indoor practice facility.
After Brady left the field, Ryan Mallett played with the first offensive unit and Tim Tebow played with the second team. Mallett threw an interception soon after taking over. In his first series after Brady left, Tebow completed three of seven passes.
“I’m just trying to do my job,” Mallett said. “I’m sure Tom will be fine and we’ll just go on.”
Tebow left practice without speaking with reporters.
“Anytime anybody, especially a teammate, goes down it’s a dark cloud. It’s unfortunate,” Patriots running back Shane Vereen said. “He went back out there, but we’ll see.”