FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — All was well with the world Thursday. The sun rose in the morning, and QB Tom Brady returned to practice in the afternoon.
That was the biggest takeaway from the last of three days of joint practices between the Bucs and Patriots ahead of their preseason game tonight.
Brady, the Patriots' three-time Super Bowl winner, got a scare Wednesday when his left tackle, Nate Solder, was pushed into his planted left leg by Bucs DE Adrian Clayborn. Brady fell to the turf and clutched his knee, though an MRI exam showed no damage. Brady was diagnosed with a sprain, but the mishap caused many hearts in New England to skip a beat or two.
Bucs coach Greg Schiano, after reviewing the film, did not absolve Clayborn but stopped short of blaming him.
"It's just unfortunate," he said. "We talk all the time about letting (quarterbacks) throw and the bull-rush stuff," Schiano said. "But I'm glad he's okay. That's one of the dangers. You keep warning them, but it's hard, especially when they get competing with each other. We just try to prevent it as good as possible."
Asked if Clayborn went too far, Schiano responded, "I just think everybody's playing football. It's not right or wrong. It's an inherent risk in what we do. We try to be really smart with it. They try to be really smart with it."
Brady, who declined to comment after practice, wore a brace on the knee but showed no signs of limited mobility. He took all of the first-team snaps and is expected to play tonight.
"That's our leader," Patriots RB Steven Ridley said. "We ride with Tom Brady all the way."
Carimi in the mix: RT Gabe Carimi is surging and could get some snaps with the first team tonight over Demar Dotson.
The 2011 first-round pick of the Bears acquired in June now has a better grasp of the offense, said Schiano, who described Carimi as "solid."
"He's learning our system," Schiano said. "He's a smart guy, loves football and tries to please the coaches."
See you later: The Bucs and Patriots got plenty out of their workouts this week. And while neither coach seemed worried about exposing secrets before the teams' regular-season meeting, there will be some takeaways.
"We know we're going to get a look at them later in the year, so we were able to get a good look at them," Bucs LB Lavonte David said. "When the time comes, we'll think back and we'll watch some film (of practice). And that'll help us against them."
Overall, the week was quite productive, Schiano said.
"You can't get this (competition) against yourself," he said. "So I'm really pleased."