Friday was Day 3 of BradyHandWatch 2018, and while we got no closer to any definitive answers regarding the status of the most important football-throwing apparatus in New England, the Patriots did relay that quarterback Tom Brady was limited in practice and listed him as questionable for Sunday’s AFC championship game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In the meantime, speculation as to the state of Brady’s right hand continues apace. Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston reports that Brady’s right thumb is “messed up,” that he’s only taking shotgun snaps because he’s “trying not to aggravate the thumb between now and kickoff so the reps are at a minimum,” and that he can throw a football, but “I have no idea how hard, how far or how accurately.”
Boston sports radio host Michael Felger of 98.5 The Sports Hub put forth a far more optimistic diagnosis on his afternoon drive show Friday.
Continuing the theme of Boston radio hosts reporting potentially positive developments, WEEI’s Kirk Minihane of the morning “Kirk and Callahan Show” also provided some information sure to be a relief to Patriots fans.
And NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted that a source tells him Brady was “zinging it pretty good” at Friday’s practice.
Patriots Coach Bill Belichick was his usual helpful self when asked at his morning news conference about the status of his star quarterback, two days ahead of New England’s AFC championship game battle with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Via ESPN’s Mike Reiss, here are some of the responses Belichick gave to questions about Tom Brady’s right hand, which was injured in a collision with a teammate during practice Wednesday. Since the answers were wholly un-enlightening, the questions are immaterial:
— “We gave out the injury report yesterday, and we’ll update it today.”
— “I don’t know. We’ll see.”
— “I don’t know.”
— “We’re going to continue to get ready for Jacksonville all the way through until game time.”
— “Today is Friday.”
After their meeting with Mr. Candid, the reporters on hand (heh) were able to take in the first session of Patriots practice, which involves little more than stretching. Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald was able to get some video, which we will break down in excruciating detail.
So Brady is . . . walking? Always what you want to see out of your starting quarterback. Left-leg pliability seems to be in order. His right hand comes into contact with the ground during one of his toe-touch stretches, and he did not shriek in pain like the Wilhelm Scream. In my uninformed medical opinion, this is a good sign.
This video begins with some crucial hand-on-hand action, as Brady seems to be adjusting his gloves while talking to backup Brian Hoyer. Again, no shrieking. The two are having some sort of conversation, but about what? Pain, specifically hand or thumb pain? How to be the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots? The secret starting-quarterback discount code at the local Dunkin’ Donuts? We’ll probably never know.
A fist! One must assume that, in this photo, Brady is not getting a running start as he prepares to pummel a teammate with his right hand of doom. According to Howe, there were no observable fists made by Brady in Thursday’s practice, but now, one day of healing later: a fist! This could be the answer to all of our questions.
Wearing gloves indoors, Brady held a news conference Friday afternoon that lasted about five minutes. He was extremely evasive when asked about his hand, which obviously was the only thing the assembled reporters were interested in.
“I’m not talking about it,” he said when first asked about the injury.
“We’ll see,” he said when asked if he was playing Sunday.
“I was out there,” when asked what he did in practice Friday.
“I’ve worn them before,” he said when asked by a reporter why he was wearing gloves inside.
“She already asked that,” he said when asked by a different reporter why he was wearing gloves inside.
More on the NFL:
Fancy Stats: Jaguars defense could pose problem for Patriots
Fancy Stats: Picking the winners of this weekend’s title games