FOXBORO -- The assumption is that Tom Brady's return will be a good thing for the Patriots. The assumption is that on the practice field, in meetings, and against the Browns in Week 5, Brady's impact on his teammates and coaches will be a positive one.
But Bill Belichick is not one to assume. Even when what comes may seem fairly obvious.
- MORE PATRIOTS - Curran: Now the season can really begin
- McDaniels expects Brady to be as motivated as always
- Belichick on Garoppolo: ‘I can’t do an injury report every five minutes’
Asked about Brady's return from a four-game suspension during a conference call on Monday morning, Belichick acknowledged that it is good to have Brady back, but he did not want to forecast how the team would react to the future Hall of Famer's homecoming.
"I don't know," Belichick said. "That'd just be speculation at this point. He hasn't done it. It's great to have Tom and Rob [Ninkovich] back, but I can't tell you [how the team will be impacted]. I can't answer the question. I haven't seen it. It'd just be pure speculation. It's good to have him back. I'm not going to speculate on what will and won't happen going forward because that's all it will be is just speculation."
With both Brady and Ninkovich back in the fold, the Patriots will have to knock their roster number down to 53 players eventually, but they are expected to be given roster exemptions in order to carry two extra players. How long those exemptions will last, though, is still up in the air -- even for Belichick.
As of Monday's conference call, he was unsure as to how long the team will be able to carry both Brady and Ninkovich before making roster moves to get back to 53 players.
"I don't have an exact answer for that right this second," he said. "Why don't you call the league and ask them? I'm sure they have the answers."