Tom Brady posted a statement on Facebook on Friday night, a day after U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman vacated the New England quarterback's four-game suspension in the ''Deflategate'' scandal.
Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots will open the season at home Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
''The regular season starts tomorrow morning and I can't wait to fully commit my energy and emotion to focus on the challenges of the 2015 NFL season,'' Brady said in the statement.
''I want to thank my family, my friends, all of the fans, past and current players and my teammates for the support they have given me throughout this challenging experience. I also want to thank Judge Berman and his staff for their efforts to resolve this matter over the past five weeks. I am very grateful. My thanks also to the union's legal team who has fought so hard right along with me.
''While I am pleased to be eligible to play, I am sorry our league had to endure this. I don't think it has been good for our sport - to a large degree, we have all lost. I am also sorry to anyone whose feelings I may have hurt as I have tried to work to resolve this situation. I love the NFL. It is a privilege to be a member of the NFL community and I will always try to do my best in representing my team and the league in a way that would make all members of this community proud.
''I look forward to the competition on the playing field and I hope the attention of NFL fans can return to where it belongs - on the many great players and coaches who work so hard every week, and sacrifice so much, to make this game great. Most importantly, I look forward to representing the New England Patriots on Thursday night in our season opener. I hope to make all of our fans proud this year ... and beyond!''
The NFL is appealing Berman's decision to the 2nd U.S. District Court of Appeals.