FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady is ready to play after cutting his right thumb with scissors in a "silly accident" before the Patriots' preseason game against the Bears last week.
Brady said Tuesday he missed the first two practices this week for personal reasons, but that he's available and ready to play when New England visits Carolina on Friday.
The quarterback, 39, has yet to play this preseason. He has two games before the start of an NFL-issued four-game regular-season suspension for his role in "Deflategate."
Brady said the accident with the scissors occurred when he was trying to get something out of his cleat. The scissors slipped and cut his thumb, causing him to "let out probably a pretty loud word I wouldn't repeat in front of my kids.
"I'm glad it wasn't the regular season and I learned from it, so hopefully won't be operating any more scissors for a while," Brady said.
Coach Bill Belichick has said previously that Jimmy Garoppolo will start while Brady's out, with Brady returning as starter once his suspension ends, which will be in time for New England's game Oct. 9 at Cleveland. Asked if he expected to play Brady this week, Belichick said the priority remains getting Garoppolo ready.
Broncos get Ware back: Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware returned to practice on a limited basis with the plan to have him ready for the regular-season opener Sept. 8 against Carolina. Ware had been out with a back injury, which sidelined him for five games in 2015, but said he feels much better than during Denver's 24-10 win over Carolina in the Super Bowl last February. "I was probably playing at 70 percent in the Super Bowl, still trying to be a little bit effective. Now I feel like I'm 94 percent," he said, referring to his jersey number. "I feel great."
Harrison interview Thursday: Steelers linebacker James Harrison will talk to the league on Thursday regarding the accusation of PED use against him in an Al Jazeera report last year. The meeting was originally set for Aug. 30.
Bills: Receiver Marquise Goodwin is being evaluated for a possible concussion sustained during practice. Coach Rex Ryan would only say the player was placed in the league's concussion protocol, which makes it unlikely Goodwin will play in Friday's preseason game at Washington.
Cowboys: Rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott, the fourth overall pick in this year's draft, will make his debut in Thursday's preseason game at Seattle. Elliott missed the first two preseason games with a sore hamstring.
Giants: Victor Cruz returned to practice for the first time in almost two weeks, slightly increasing the hope he can resume his career after two frustrating seasons. Cruz, 29, missed last season with a calf injury and had his 2014 season ended after six games by a knee injury.
Steelers: Linebacker Vince Williams, a former FSU standout, signed a three-year contract through the 2018 season. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Retiring: Tight end Craig Stevens, 31, said he is retiring. He spent his eight-year career with the Titans. … Free agent defensive end Jerome Mincey, 32, a former Gator, announced his retirement.