Patriots to start Brady against Rams

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

FOXBORO, Mass. -- New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe is expected to be cleared to return to practice this week, and he could be ready to play Sunday night against St. Louis.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday he expects the team's doctors to give Bledsoe the OK this week. But that doesn't mean he will replace Tom Brady, who is 5-2 as a starter since Bledsoe's chest injury, as the starting quarterback.

"I can't answer any questions as to what will happen down the road," Belichick said. "We expect Tom to start against St. Louis."

The team did not have meetings on Monday, and neither Bledsoe nor Brady was available for comment. But after Sunday's 21-11 victory over Buffalo, in which Brady completed 15 of 21 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown, he said he was only thinking about the game.

"I'll let Drew be concerned about how he feels and when he is ready to go," Brady said. "I don't know when he is coming back and all I know is I am going to keep playing as hard as I can."

Bledsoe was hurt when he was hit by the New York Jets' linebacker Mo Lewis in the second week of the season. The Patriots lost their first two games.

Brady played at Michigan and was selected in the sixth round of the 2000 draft.

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