Gray missed practice Friday because he overslept. He reached out to Patriots coach Bill Belichick and his teammates to apologize for being late. A source told ESPN's Josina Anderson that Gray was told Friday that he wouldn't start Sunday's game.
Gray set the alarm on his phone, but the phone battery died overnight and the alarm didn't go off, a source told ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss.
Belichick has a long-standing rule that if a player doesn't report on time, he doesn't practice that day. It happened earlier this year with cornerback Darrelle Revis, who returned later that day to apologize to Belichick.
The absence did not cost Revis any playing time, as he started the ensuing game against the Chicago Bears. As for Gray, who burst into the spotlight in Sunday's 42-20 win over the Indianapolis Colts with 201 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
Gray, who won AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors, is currently No. 1 on the Patriots' depth chart of power running backs, and is backed up by Blount and Brandon Bolden. The power backs complement smaller, shiftier running backs Vereen and James White.