FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots are ready to hit players wearing other jerseys.

“It’s always fun,” defensive end Rob Ninkovich said Tuesday, after the Patriots finished their final full workout before their Thursday night preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers at home.

“Definitely, when you can get out there and start tackling people and getting in the flow of the game, and going against different skills sets and different offensive linemen, it’s always fun to test your techniques on different linemen out there.”

The Patriots worked out in the rain without quarterback Tom Brady, who was preparing for a Wednesday hearing in the legal dispute over his suspension for using underinflated footballs.

Without Brady, the quarterback play was predictably spotty, but it was clear players were ready for their first game action and to really hit people.

“Football is meant to be played in full pads and going full blast,” Ninkovich said. “It’s definitely exciting for a lot of guys to get out there and play together.”

“It’s good to look forward to Thursday night and playing the Packers, and just getting out there and seeing some different looks,” said fullback James Develin. “Training camp is always a grind but we definitely look forward to getting out there in a game situation.”

Brady, who has been suspended for the first four games of the regular season, can play the preseason games. But he didn’t play in the preseason opener last year, the fourth time in his career he skipped the first game.

Whether or not Brady plays, second-year man Jimmy Garoppolo will take the next step in his development, and toward perhaps being the starter for the first four games of the regular season.

“We’ll see what happens,” Garoppolo said.

Asked if he wants to see the Brady matter decided before the Sept. 10 opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Garoppolo said, “Whenever it happens it happens, I really can’t control that so I’m not really worried about it.”

Garoppolo said it’s “much different” for him entering his second preseason than when he was a rookie. “I was very new back then,” he said. “Just the comfortability of the offense …much more than it was last year. It’s awesome to get back out there (Thursday). This is fun and everything but the games are what we play for. It’s exciting. It’s going to be fun.”

Quarterback Ryan Lindley spent his second day with the team after signing as a free agent when veteran Matt Flynn was released because of an injury.

“It’s going well,” Lindley said.

PACKERS: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers expects to play at New England. Before practice, Coach Mike McCarthy said all the players who make the trip are expected to play.

VIKINGS: Running back Adrian Peterson was banged up a bit in practice, falling to the ground while appearing to hurt his leg, but running back Jerick McKinnon said the injury wasn’t believed to be serious.

STEELERS: The team signed kicker Garrett Hartley after Shaun Suisham injured his left knee Sunday night in a preseason loss to Minnesota.

NFL OWNERS met in suburban Chicago to hear more about moving at least one team to the Los Angeles market. The Chargers and Raiders are proposing a stadium in Carson, and the Rams are looking to build a facility in Inglewood.

PANTHERS: Quarterback Cam Newton defended his role in a training camp scuffle with cornerback Josh Norman, saying he would do it again.

BROWNS: Left tackle Joe Thomas didn’t sustain significant damage when he was hit on the right knee in practice.

CARDINALS: A person with knowledge of the situation said starting right tackle Bobby Massie was suspended for three games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

49ERS: Right tackle Anthony Davis is talking about an NFL return next year, just two months after he announced his retirement at age 25 following a head injury last season.

BUCCANEERS: The team signed former Seattle defensive tackle Tony McDaniel and activated receiver Louis Murphy from the active/non-football injury list.