BOSTON (CBS) — As Patriots training camp opens without the presence of Pro Bowl veteran guard Brian Waters, many fans as well as those in the media were very unsure exactly what was going on. Is he going to retire? Is he holding out for more money? Or is he just a veteran who’d like to skip a little bit of training camp?

While we still don’t know exactly why Waters is not present, head coach Bill Belichick said Thursday that his absence is nothing worth worrying about.

“He’s not here. It’s basically the same as it was in minicamp,” Belichick said, adding that he’s not surprised by Waters’ absence. “We’ll just take it day to day.”

In June, Waters was excused for minicamp by the team for “personal reasons.” The team’s excusing him from the practice sessions spared him from the fines generally incurred by players who don’t attend.

Given that Waters is a veteran of 12 NFL seasons, and also that he had essentially zero practice time before stepping into a full-time role in Week 1 with the Patriots last season, it may be safe to assume that he’s simply being allowed to skip all or part of camp. If last year was any indication, an extended summer shouldn’t negatively affect him come Week 1.

Belichick also offered a bit of a joke, too. When the coach was asked if there was any truth to any retirement rumors, he said that only Waters could answer those questions and reporters would have to talk to him. Belichick was then informed that Waters told The Boston Globe on Wednesday that reporters should speak with the team for information.

“Nice of him to volley that back to me,” Belichick quipped.


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