Bruschi played on all three Super Bowl-winning Patriots teams. The last championship game was on Feb. 6, 2005, against the Philadelphia Eagles. Ten days later he was hospitalized after experiencing numbness in his left arm and left leg and blurry vision and was diagnosed with a mild stroke.
Bruschi's play declined last season and he missed much of this year's training camp for undisclosed reasons.
A third-round draft choice out of Arizona in 1996, Bruschi worked his way up from a part-time player and member of special teams units to full-time starter in 1999.
"I've had so many years [when] where you are in September is different than where you are in December," Bruschi said last week. "So I've learned that ever since I was a third-down situational pass rushing rookie that played on special teams all the way through my entire career, never assume what your role is going to be. Just be ready when your coach calls on you."
Bruschi, a 36-year-old inside linebacker, played sparingly in the Patriots' three exhibition games
Last season the Patriots drafted Jerod Mayo at inside linebacker in the first round and he became the NFL defensive player of the year. Gary Guyton, a free agent rookie last season, also developed at that position.
This offseason, the Patriots obtained inside linebacker Paris Lenon from Detroit.
Bruschi made one Pro Bowl in the 2004 season when he was second on the team with 128 tackles. He also had a sack and an interception in that year's Super Bowl win over the Eagles.
He has played in 189 regular-season games, more than any linebacker in club history. His 631 total tackles over the past six seasons are the most on the team in that period.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.