It’s not like anyone expected the New England Patriots to provide Tom Brady’s medical records with a doctor there to explain them.
On Friday, the Patriots offered nothing of any real value when it came to updating Brady’s hand injury, which kept him out of practice on Wednesday or Thursday. Brady was present at the start of practice Friday, just like Thursday (and, like Thursday, he had gloves on again), but quarterbacks didn’t throw in the period that was open to the media.
Basically, we don’t know a lot now and are unlikely to know much more before kickoff on Sunday.
There was the theater of Brady conducting his news conference Friday with gloves on.
Gloves still on both hands for Brady. Says he’s not talking about how his right hand is feeling or whether he threw passes today.
How confident is he that he’ll play Sunday? “We’ll see.” pic.twitter.com/V4voXES7Lu
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) January 19, 2018
When Brady was asked about his injury, he said “I’m not talking about it.”
The most humorous exercise of all might have been coach Bill Belichick avoiding answering any questions about Brady, which everyone knew was coming. Here are the Brady-related excerpts from Belichick’s press conference transcript:
Q: Do you have an update on Tom Brady’s status for Sunday?
BB: Yeah, we gave out the injury report yesterday. We’ll update it today.
Q: When Brian Hoyer steps in at practice, as he did yesterday, how does that affect the team’s preparation for the execution that you’re looking for on game day? Do you feel like when he’s in there you’re getting the work that helps you meet that team execution?
BB: Brian does a great job for us – works hard, practices hard. He does a good job.
Q: Has not having Tom on the practice field limited your preparation at all for Jacksonville?
BB: We’re going to continue to get ready for Jacksonville all the way through, up till game time.
Q: Now that Brady is dealing with this injury, do you have any regrets about trading Jimmy Garoppolo?
BB: We’re getting ready for Jacksonville.
Q: Does it look like Brady’s playing status might be a game-time decision?
BB: Today’s Friday.
Q: Given Brady’s injury, did you consider bringing in a third quarterback just in case?
BB: Yeah, we’re going to get ready for Jacksonville, do the best that we can, make the best decisions we can for the team to do that, so that’s what we’re going to do.
Q: How much, if at all, does Brady’s status complicate the game planning process for you at this point?
BB: I don’t know.
Q: What is your level of concern that he’ll be able to perform the functions that he needs to at quarterback?
BB: Yeah, I don’t know. We’ll see.
Trying reading between those lines. You won’t find much.
Brady’s injury (and it is an injury, if you believe Belichick is sitting him out of practice just to play around, you’ve been infected with Patriots paranoia) has obvious implications for Sunday. He could be just fine on Sunday, and the Patriots have been cautious with him. Maybe having an injury to his throwing hand affects him significantly against the Jaguars’ top-ranked pass defense. We just don’t know.
“It’s Tom so regardless of any situation he’s put in, he’s going to make sure he’s out there game day,” Patriots running back Dion Lewis said, via Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston. “Nobody’s really worried.”
That might be the most definitive word we get before the AFC championship game kicks off.
– – – – – – –