Much of the attention paid to Patriots practice on Wednesday was directed toward a player who wasn’t there.
Quarterback Tom Brady missed practice, leaving Ryan Mallett to take all the snaps for both the first-team offense and the scout team working against the starting defense. Bill Belichick didn’t have any comment beyond telling people there would be an injury report on Wednesday afternoon, which listed Brady as out because of illness and his right shoulder.
You never want your quarterback to miss a practice at this point in the season, but all should be well if Brady’s back on Thursday.
Brady’s absence meant that he wasn’t able to work with returning wide receiver on Wednesday. Dobson has been out since aggravating a foot injury in Week 17, but he was able to participate in the first practice of this week. He’ll likely be a limited participant, but if he keeps practicing the rest of the week it would seem to bode well for his chances of returning to the lineup.
Punter Ryan Allen was also at practice Wednesday, which should quiet remaining concerns about his ability to play on Sunday. Allen hurt his shoulder against the Colts, leaving Stephen Gostkowski to punt and Brady to hold for extra points in the second half.