Updated at 4:10 p.m. with team report
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady returned to the practice field today, but his activity was limited because of a left shoulder injury, the team reported.
The word from the team clears up earlier conflicting reports about whether and how much Brady would practice. Brady missed practice Wednesday, a planned absence that the team said was non-injury related. He was on the field today during the stretching part of practice and threw a long pass, but reportedly did not take part in the rest of practice.
Brady reportedly hurt his left, non-throwing shoulder when he fell hard Saturday in the game against the Miami Dolphins. After the game, he had X-rays, Comcast SportsNet reported, and was told he was “all set,” according to Tom Curran. Brady was hit a season-high eight times behind the line of scrimmage Saturday.
Brady had nothing to say about his shoulder Wednesday, before this whole “is he hurt or not” thing erupted. The Patriots have clinched the AFC East and a first-round bye, but home-field advantage in the playoffs is on the line Sunday. So, too, is a big personal number for Brady, who is 103 yards shy of reaching 5,000 yards passing for the season. He can join Drew Brees (2008, 2011) and Dan Marino (1984) as the only quarterbacks to top 5,000 in a single season. (Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning have a shot at doing so as well Sunday.)
That figure wasn’t on Brady’s mind Wednesday.
“You don't think about it much. You don't think about touchdowns or yards,” Brady said, via NESN. “What I like to think about is our offensive production, and if we're getting the ball in the end zone, if we're winning games, if we're building on our performance week to week, if we're getting better over the course of the season. I think those are the things that are probably most on my mind. Personal records and anything like that, really in a team sport to me, there's just not any emphasis on those. We're trying to win team awards. That's certainly what you subscribe to you when you become a member of a team.”