BOSTON (CBS) – The New England Patriots open their preseason Friday night against the Eagles in Philadelphia, but will Tom Brady play?

The Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday, and said after a week of successful joint practices with the Eagles, he wouldn’t be surprised if Brady and other established veterans get Friday night off.

“I don’t know for sure but my gut tells me he won’t (play) and some of his key teammates won’t either, just because they’ve had two really good practices down here,” said Howe. “One key aspect, Brady is out there in a red jersey and they’re not hitting him in these practices. I could see some benefit to going out there and having him get completely prepared for the game and having the rookie receivers see what it’s like for Brady to prepare in the hours leading up to kickoff. There would be some benefit there, but I don’t know if it’s worth it for a series.”

Read: 10 (Or So) Patriots To Watch In Preseason

“If you’re going to send Brady out there for three or four series, just to keep the progression going with the rookie receivers, then yeah I think that would be worth it. But they’ve been so good in practice this week in a competitive environment,” Howe said. “I think the work has been so good it’s probably not necessary for Brady and some of the more established veterans to go out there tomorrow night.”

Howe also touches on the Patriots’ depth at running back, which defensive backs have looked good against the Eagles receivers, and how much fun it is to cover Aqib Talib away from the playing field:

Tune in to Friday’s Patriots-Eagles preseason game on WBZ-TV and 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship stations of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins on 98.5 FM at 4:30 p.m. and on WBZ-TV at 7 p.m.. 

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