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Report: Tom Brady could play vs. Buccaneers on Friday

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

The entire Patriots world collectively held its breath Wednesday when Tom Brady went down with a knee injury during practice. It was later reported that the injury was just a sprain and that it shouldn't keep him out long.

And perhaps Brady will return as soon as this Friday in the Patriots' game against the Buccaneers. In fact, ESPN.com reports that Brady will try to practice Thursday.

That, of course, assumes that Brady didn't wake up Thursday morning with more pain and swelling in his knee than he expected.

"He basically got kicked," a source said told ESPN.com. "It isn't like his knee collapsed or somebody rolled up on him. Is there a chance he could be sore and they decide to hold him out of practice? Yeah. Could they decide he shouldn't play in the game? Probably. But they could also decide it's just soreness and he needs to work it out. It's really nothing."

After the hit, Adrian Clayborn, the Buccaneers defensive end who pushed Patriots tackle Nate Solder into Brady, became a Twitter target of scorn.

“I bull rushed the tackle and apparently he tripped on Brady and fell on him,” Clayborn said. "You always have to stay away from the quarterback, but if you get a guy on his heels, my instinct is to keep going. And that's what I did."

Wrote ESPN: “There is no apparent animosity between the teams regarding Clayborn's hit on Brady. The Patriots seemed to attribute the blame for the collision mostly to Solder for failing to hold his block and believe it could have happened even if New England were not practicing with another team.”

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