BOSTON -- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was in a two-car accident near his home at about 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning but was unhurt and attended practice later in the day at Gillette Stadium.
The crash at Commonwealth Avenue and Gloucester Street in Boston’s Back Bay area knocked over a light pole and sent a passenger in the other vehicle to the hospital with injuries that were serious but not considered life-threatening, officials. No charges have been filed.
A witness told The Associated Press that the two-time Super Bowl MVP was approaching the intersection on a green light when his Audi collided with a minivan. No charges have been filed.
Brady’s father had just arrived in Boston from the family’s California home early Thursday and found out about the accident when he got off his flight.
“I understand he’s fine, but I haven’t talked to him,” Tom Brady Sr. told reporters outside his son’s home three blocks from the accident site.
Brady arrived at the stadium Thursday morning and was involved in parts of meetings and a walkthrough in addition to participating in the team's practice session as it prepares for Sunday's season-opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick told the team about the accident before practice and said Brady might be a bit late, linebacker Tully Banta-Cain said.
“I was hoping, obviously, that he was OK, but I saw him walking in. He had a smile on his face, no abrasions, so I think he’s fine,” Banta-Cain said.
Added veteran tight end Alge Crumpler: "He's here, he's ready to go."
Rookie tight end Rob Gronkowski said he caught a pass from Brady in the pre-practice walkthrough and that it was as crisp as ever.
"We're just all thankful he's fine, and glad he's back here already, and back working," Gronkowski said.
One of Brady's neighbors, a 74-year-old woman who asked that her name not be used for fear of being hounded by media inquiries, was walking her dogs when she saw the accident.
She said Brady was traveling south on Gloucester and approaching the intersection on a green light when his black Audi collided with a fast-moving red Ford Aerostar that was westbound on Commonwealth.
"The red car went up in the air, sideways. ... The tire was half off," the woman said.
Afterward, she said Brady immediately got out of his car.
The woman had been near the intersection when the crash occurred and fell down and hit her head while bracing for impact.
She said the two sat next to each other in an ambulance, but neither was taken to the hospital. She did not realize he was the star quarterback until later.
"I want to thank the safety personnel for their service, and express our concern and support for the well-being of the occupants of the other vehicle," Brady's agent, David Yee, said in a statement. "I don't have any other information to share at this time."
Another witness, Bill Barron, said he was in his apartment overlooking the intersection when he heard a collision that sounded like "a bolt of lightning."
When he looked out the window, he saw the driver of the car picking glass off his clothes and wiping himself off with a towel. He didn't realize until later that it was Brady.
"I thought it was some college kid who had crashed up his father's really nice car," Barron said.
Brady then retrieved some items from his car, made a series of phone calls and was picked up by another vehicle, Barron said.
The accident caused something of a media stir at Gillette Stadium on Thursday. As reporters rushed into the locker room when the media access period began, many filmed pictures of Brady's locker, where a pair of jeans and a shirt were placed over a chair.
It was a much busier scene than normal, with several television stations on hand preparing to go on the air live.
Left tackle Matt Light found the crowd humorous as he walked through the locker room and cracked, "It's just a car accident, people."
The Patriots open their season at home Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Brady remains in talks with the Patriots about a contract extension and is entering the final year of his current contract—a six-year, $57.3 million deal. Contract discussions between the Patriots and Brady escalated Tuesday to the point where a deal could be completed before New England opens its regular season Sunday, a source close to the situation told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Discussions between the two sides have focused on a four-year deal. The previous two contracts that Brady has signed have been for four years, and the expectation is this one also will be for four. Brady has deflected questions about a potential contract extension, repeatedly saying his focus instead was on the season opener.
"I don't want to get into it," Brady said during his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio station WEEI on Wednesday morning. "For me, it's the same as it's been. I'm trying to find a way to score some touchdowns against the Bengals. I didn't spend five minutes yesterday thinking about my contract or future."
Brady would like to finalize the deal this week, before the Patriots open the season. This is logical. In the Patriots' opener two seasons ago, then Kansas City safety Bernard Pollard rolled into Brady's knee, injuring it and ending the quarterback's season.
In his Wednesday afternoon news conference, Brady acknowledged that injuries have helped to shape his approach toward the business side of the game. Interestingly, he also acknowledged having four surgeries during his career.
"That's a big part of it," Brady said. "This is a physical game. I've had four surgeries in eight years -- my shoulder and my knee and my groin ... and another one, too. But, pretty much every other year you're having a surgery. Some are major ... all surgeries are major as far as I'm concerned now.
"You count your blessings when you come off the field; I think you have a new appreciation when you do come off the field, win or lose. You're trying to win every time out, obviously. But I think you also pinch yourself every time you walk off the field healthy and say, 'Man, at least I get a chance to go out next week and play also.'"
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