Adalius Thomas wasted no time defending himself after coach Bill Belichick sent him home for being late to a team meeting.
The New England Patriots linebacker said after returning Thursday that he was “dumbfounded” and “can’t figure out what Bill thinks or knows.”
Three other players were sent away for showing up late Wednesday - wide receiver Randy Moss and linebackers Gary Guyton and Derrick Burgess. All four were at practice Thursday, but the other three declined to speak with reporters.
Thomas, a starter in nine games this year, called ahead on a snowy Wednesday morning, as players are instructed to do when they’re going to be late, he said. Traffic was tied up, and he nearly got into an accident, he said. But when he showed up about nine minutes late for an 8 a.m. team meeting, Belichick told him to leave.
That surprised him.
“You’re told to call and you call, you get sent home,” Thomas said.
“That’s not an excuse,” he said, but “I could have been in the ditch. They really don’t give a damn, honestly. As long as you ain’t in the meeting they really don’t give a [expletive].”
Also, quarterback Tom Brady missed practice for the second straight day.
The Patriots listed Brady with right finger, right shoulder and rib problems although none seemed serious.
FALCONS: Quarterback Matt Ryan sat out another practice because of a toe injury, making it increasingly unlikely he’ll be able to play against unbeaten New Orleans.
While Ryan took part in a walkthrough, which was closed to the media, he wasn’t even at the indoor practice facility for the main 2 1/2-hour workout. Chris Redman ran the first-team offense.
RAIDERS: Left guard Robert Gallery will miss the rest of the season with a lower-back injury.
Gallery injured himself in last week’s game at Pittsburgh. Coach Tom Cable said Gallery will need a “repair” done and won’t return this season. The injury is not career-threatening. Gallery missed six games earlier this season with a broken leg.
Chris Morris is expected to replace Gallery in the lineup this week against Washington.
RAVENS: A woman filed a $70 million lawsuit against linebacker Terrell Suggs, claiming he is the father of her two children and assaulted her multiple times.
Suggs said at practice that he has nothing to hide but he was not able to discuss the case yet.
Candace Williams, 26, is seeking $50 million in punitive damages and $20 million in compensatory damages from the three-time Pro Bowl pass rusher. She filed a separate complaint seeking custody of the children. Both were filed Monday in Baltimore Circuit Court.
TITANS: Vince Young aggravated his right knee and left practice early in what coach Jeff Fisher called a “setback.”
Young had just stepped back and thrown a pass when he started walking to the sideline and lay down on the ground. A trainer and a doctor checked out his knee. They wrapped ice around his knee, then he left practice, walking out of the indoor practice field gingerly.
The quarterback originally hurt his knee in last week’s 27-17 loss at Indianapolis and had been trying to push through practice. He was tended to inside the building and not seen in the locker room while reporters were present. Fisher said he expects Young to play Sunday against St. Louis.
GIANTS: Right guard Chris Snee is practicing on a limited basis, improving his chances of playing in this weekend’s showdown with Philadelphia.
Snee has started 76 consecutive games for the Giants. He missed the second half of Sunday’s win over the Dallas Cowboys with an injury to his left knee.
BLACKOUTS: Oakland and Jacksonville will again have their home games blacked out this week because they were not sold out 72 hours in advance.
Sunday’s game against Washington is the sixth straight Raiders home to game to be blacked out in Oakland. The Raiders have sold out only the home opener against San Diego.
The Jaguars failed to sell out Sunday’s home game against Miami, prompting the team’s ninth blackout, including preseason, in 2009.