FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts — No matter U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman's ruling, the New England Patriots are prepared to move forward with or without star quarterback Tom Brady.
Brady's fate will be decided sometime in the next few days, but until then the Patriots will continue to operate like the four-time Super Bowl champion is going to be there or not.
"We're going about our business as usual," second-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said before Tuesday's full-pads practice on the upper grass fields outside Gillette Stadium.
Berman will deliver a written ruling this week on Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension for his involvement in an effort to deflate footballs before last January's AFC title game.
"It won't be today, but hopefully tomorrow or the day after," Berman said Monday.
Brady has denied any wrongdoing and failed to reach a settlement with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in Monday's final hearing at a Manhattan federal court in New York City.
Brady returned to practice Tuesday, but Garoppolo has taken the first-team snaps in his absence and did so again Monday, lending credence to the belief that he will start the season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 10 in Foxborough should Brady's suspension be upheld.
"We'll approach that when we get there," said Garoppolo, surrounded by cameras and reporters at his locker. "We've got a little ways to go still, so next Thursday we'll figure it out."
Garoppolo has yet to start an NFL game but played in six as a rookie in 2014. This preseason, he has completed 76.3 percent of his passes (61 of 80) for 554 yards — second-most among all NFL quarterbacks during the exhibition schedule — two touchdowns and two interceptions.
"You've got to come into this, whether you're a starter (or) backup, you've got to have a starter mentality," Garoppolo said. "You never know when your number's going to get called."
In non-Brady news, the Patriots acquired wide receiver and punt returner Jalen Saunders from the New Orleans Saints for an undisclosed draft pick and claimed rookie wideout DaVaris Daniels from the Minnesota Vikings.
Additionally, fullback James Develin was placed on the season-ending injured reserve after he broke his right tibia in Friday's preseason game at Carolina.
Develin, who had two catches for 17 yards, broke his leg in the fourth quarter.
"I saw him yesterday, and he's doing well," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "I think he's got a good attitude. I was happy to see him. It's good to see him back here."
Defensive back Darryl Roberts was placed on injured reserve while linebacker Dane Fletcher and defensive back Chris Jones landed on the physically unable to perform/reserve list.
New England announced its second round of roster cuts Tuesday, releasing guard Chris Barker and linebacker D.J. Lynch to drop the roster to 75 ahead of Tuesday's mandatory league-wide cutdown.
"Every day, every opportunity, every rep out there on the field is job opportunity," wide receiver Danny Amendola said of his experiences with cut week. "That's the way you've got to take it."
The Patriots began their roster purge Monday, releasing wide receivers Josh Boyce and Jonathan Krause, tight end Jimmay Mundine, defensive lineman Joe Vellano, and linebacker Dekoda Watson.
Boyce, the Patriots' fourth-round draft pick in 2013, appeared in 10 games with New England over two seasons, including nine last year when he had nine catches for 121 yards.
Vellano played in all 16 games and started eight in 2013, recording 22 tackles and two sacks.