Birds' Big Test Hits a Snag

Tom Brady will not play in tonight's game against the Eagles. (Mark Humphrey/AP)

FOXBORO, Ma. --- The Boston Herald is reporting that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady won't play tonight against the Eagles, throwing a kink in the Eagles' vision of testing their regulars for a prolonged period against the Pats' regulars. Rumors have circulated since Sunday that Brady and some other regulars might participate briefly, if at all. Among those apparently not in uniform tonight are wideout Wes Welker.

The Pats, like the Eagles, play again Friday, New England traveling to Tampa. That's the third preseason game, the one in which starters generally play the most. Unlike the Eagles, who visit the Browns Friday and then visit them again to open the regular season, the Pats don't have to worry about seeing the Bucs after this week. So they'll stick to the normal practice of making Game 3 the test for the starters.

BTW, I wouldn't tune in Friday night expecting Mike Vick in Cleveland. The Eagles very well might do what New England is doing tonight.