BOSTON (CBS) -- Tom Brady got some great news on Thursday morning as Judge Richard Berman vacated his four-game DeflateGate suspension, making the quarterback eligible to play in New England's regular season opener next week.
That all but crushed any chance of Brady appearing in New England's preseason finale Thursday night at Gillette Stadium against the Giants. Had Berman ruled differently, or waited until Friday to make his announcement, Brady may have played as a potential final tune-up before possibly serving that four-game ban.
But with Brady now gearing up for Week 1, and no shot at appearing Thursday night, Bill Belichick sent his quarterback home.
Brady did have a practice with other veterans prior to the game on the practice field. But after that, Brady was among the small group of veteran players who didn't dress for the finale and got to leave the stadium early, a group that included offensive linemen Bryan Stork and Marcus Cannon and wide receiver Brandon LaFell, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.
That didn't stop the Gillette faithful from showing their support for Brady. The crowd went wild when a Brady tribute video was played early in the game, and many brought signs showing their support for the quarterback -- and disdain for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
The biggest ovation on the night went to a fan holding a sign that read "Judge Berman For President: 2016."
Asked for his reaction on Berman's ruling after New England's 12-9 loss, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was his usual self.
"I'll just talk about the game," he said.
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