6: (PM ET
Mike ReissESPN Staff Writer
- Covered Patriots since 1997
- Joined ESPN in 2009
“Football is a contact sport. I wouldn’t say I’m a spring chicken anymore,” the 42 – year-old Brady said with a smile Wednesday. “I’m trying to just feel as great as I can and we’ll see how it goes tomorrow. But I feel pretty good.”
There is little doubt that Brady will play Sunday against theBuffalo Billsin a highly anticipated matchup of 3-0 teams. But his limited practice load seems to be part of the “roster management” head coach Bill Belichick referenced in regard to the team signing free-agent quarterbackCody Kessleron Wednesday.
With Brady limited at practice twice last week, the only other quarterback on the roster was rookieJarrett Stidham. Having Stidham handle the regular offense, in addition to the scout team, was a heavy load.
Brady was one of 10 Patriots players who were limited in practice Wednesday , a group that included receiverJulian Edelman, who injured his ribs in Sunday’s victory over theNew York Jets. X-rays were negative, but Edelman appears to be managing notable pain after he was landed on by 300 – pound defensive linemanHenry Anderson.
“He’s as tough as they come,” Brady said. “He’ll do everything he can to get ready to go. When he’s not out there, it’s definitely noticeable for all of us. Hopefully he can make it. If he can’t, the other guys have got to fill in and do the best job they can do. You’ve just got to prepare for both. “
Sunday’s game features the NFL’s two stingiest teams, as the Patriots have allowed an average of 5.7 points per game in wins over thePittsburgh Steelers,Miami Dolphinsand Jets, who are a combined 0-9.
Brady is no stranger to New Era Field (formerly Ralph Wilson Stadium), having been the starter for 15 victories at the venue.
“It’s a great environment for football, “he said. “This will be the toughest game we’ve faced, and we’re going to have to play a great game. To go on the road is tough, and certainly early in the game, after their pregame tailgate when they’re a little fired up – they’re pretty loud. We’ve got to execute early. Starting fast, which we’ve actually done a good job with all year, is really important this week. “