FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- On both Wednesday's and Thursday's participation reports, quarterback Tom Brady and defensive lineman Vince Wilfork have been listed as limited for "non-injury related" reasons.
So what has led to the limited practice load?
Coach Bill Belichick was asked on Friday, and the exchange led to laughs from here:
Reporter: I know you like to let the participation report speak for itself, but should Patriots fans have any concern that Brady and Wilfork are on there as non-injury related?
Belichick: It wasn't injury-related, so I don't know what ... I can't tell anyone else what to think. We list them based on the way they are.
Reporter: Is an illness an injury?
Belichick: Yeah, sure.
Reporter: How accurate would it be to look at that and say 'It's late in the year, we want them to be at their freshest on game-day, so we'll take a little load off them?'
Belichick: There could be a lot of reasons. Personal reasons. A guy could have to go to a funeral. Maybe he has a family issue that he needs to attend to. Maybe it's what you [said]. I don't know. If it's not injury related, it's not injury related. If it's injury related, then we list it. I don't know what you guys are looking for. If a guy has an injury, then we list the injury. If he doesn't have an injury, then we say it's not injury-related. What am I missing here? I'm confused.
Reporter: Might be a case where seeing Brady on anything like that leads to unease...
Belichick: If he doesn't practice, and it's not injury related, then that's how we're going to list it. Do you want us to say he did practice when he didn't practice? We're not going to do that. If he didn't practice, and if there is an injury, then we'll list. If it's not an injury, then we don't.
Reporter: We're always interested if willing to share more detail.
Belichick: Sure. You know, we don't talk about players' personal situations ... if they want to talk about it, if there is something to talk about whatever it is. ... it's personal. I don't think that necessarily has to be shared with the rest of the world. Could be, but it doesn't have to be."