FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Tom Brady is hoping for a starring role. Bill Belichick might allow a cameo.
The New England Patriots quarterback is eager to get back in the game -- any game -- after spending nearly a year recovering from a left knee injury suffered just 7:33 into the 2008 season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
That's a little more than seven minutes of NFL playing time since the Patriots fell to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl in 2008.
No wonder Brady is excited about the Patriots' preseason game Thursday at Philadelphia.
"Yeah, I'm ready, I think everybody's ready," said Brady, who played himself in an episode of HBO's "Entourage" that aired this week. "We've had a good camp, guys have been working real hard trying to do what Coach Belichick's asked. It will be nice to go out and play the Eagles. They really gave it to us last year."
Brady said after Tuesday's practice that he hadn't spoken with Belichick about his playing time but said the entire team had been told to be ready to play.
"I'm expecting to play," he said. "There's no reason why I wouldn't. I've been out here and doing everything. It'll be nice to get out there and play some football."
Brady hasn't missed a practice during training camp.
Belichick, though, remained noncommittal about how much action his superstar quarterback, or any other Patriots starter, would see.
"I think it's important that every player play enough to be ready for the start of the season," Belichick said. "For each individual player, I could answer that in a lot of different ways. As we get closer, this afternoon, tomorrow, we'll talk about our playing rotation and what players need and how to balance that with some of the things I've already mentioned."
Asked whether Brady might not play at all Thursday, Belichick said, "We'll do what's best for the football team."
Brady, for his part, is pleased with what he's seen from his receiving corps thus far.
"Wes [Welker] and Randy [Moss] are as good as they've always been," he said. "They bring so much energy to this offense. Greg [Lewis] and Joey [Galloway] and the newcomers have picked things up."