After a brief and frantic media panic over Tom Brady's injured left knee, the New England Patriots star has been medically cleared to play in this weekend's preseason game. New England plans to play their starting quarterback -- along with backups Ryan Mallett and Tim Tebow -- against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday night, according to NFL Network's Albert Breer.
Brady went down hard during 11-on-11 drills during the Patriots' joint practice with the Bucs on Wednesday and rumors of a potentially serious knee injury quickly spread. MRI results were negative, however, quelling concerns over an injury similar to the torn ACL that cost Brady most of the 2008 season.
The Patriots also received good news on second-string quarterback Ryan Mallett, who went through his own less-publicized scare this week. Mallett left last Friday's preseason game with what was initially rumored to be a concussion, but later told reporters he "just got hit in the chest." The former-third round pick is not expected to be limited on Friday night.
Tebow, whom the Patriots signed as a free agent after he was cut by the New York Jets this offseason, will also see his share of snaps against the Bucs.
All three quarterbacks saw time in the team's preseason-opening win against the Philadelphia Eagles. Mallet was the most active, connecting on nine of his 18 pass attempts for 97 yards. Brady went 7-of-8 for 65 yards and a touchdown while Tebow added 55 yards on 4-for-12 passing.