Hannable: Mystery surrounding Tom Brady’s right hand is exactly what Patriots want

Ryan Hannable
January 18, 2018 - 9:44 pm

Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports

FOXBORO — There are many possibilities when it comes to Tom Brady and his injured right hand for Sunday’s AFC championship game — and that is just how the Patriots want it to be.

Brady reportedly injured his right hand during Wednesday’s practice and needed X-rays, which came back negative. On Thursday, he was present at the media portion of practice, but then was listed as a did not participate on the official injury report. (This is defined as participating in meaningful reps.) Then, for a second straight day Brady’s media availability was canceled, although it’s currently still scheduled for Friday.

The Patriots themselves even added to the intrigue by tweeting out both days that Brady would not be meeting with the media. A simple announcement from the PR staff to those on site like in the past would suffice, but the organization took it to the next level and it probably was calculated — as everything is at One Patriot Place.

Certainly, everyone expects Brady to be on the field Sunday afternoon, but missing a practice three days prior to the game, that at least gets the thought rolling in people’s minds that there is at least some small percentage he doesn’t play. The next question is how effective can he be? No one really knows because no one has anything to go off of, besides Internet doctors going off of tweets. The media didn’t see Brady throw Thursday as it only saw the stretching portion of practice.

From reporters, to sports talk show hosts, to fans, everyone scoured the Internet Thursday afternoon for any hints to find the severity of the injury.

Brady wore two gloves at practice, which is atypical for him, as usually it is just one on his non-throwing hand. Photographers took pictures of him left and right and many took that as a chance to zoom in on the hand. Some noticed his right thumb looked bigger than usual. Was it because he was wearing a splint? Was it heavily wrapped? Or was it simply nothing at all? No one truly knows.

Later in the afternoon, Patriots players were asked about their quarterback, but again, no information was revealed.

"I’m not a doctor or anything like that," center David Andrews said. "I am just focused on what I have to do to get ready this week. I don’t really remember."

“Tom always looks good,” linebacker Kyle Van Noy added. “He’s handsome. He’s good at football.”

Additionally, there were no reports from NFL insiders like Ian Rapoport or Adam Schefter. Dead silence.

Nothing was learned Thursday that wasn’t already known, and if anything, the events made more plausible that Brady will be impacted in some way during Sunday’s game. 

From the Patriots’ perspective, this is exactly what they want. They love keeping everyone on their toes — media, fans, and especially the opposition. 

Jacksonville’s players clearly are all over social media and are in-tune with all the different rumors and such. If players are searching their names on Twitter at night during the week of the AFC championship game, then they certainly are keeping tabs on the latest Brady injury news.

Any potential distraction for the Jaguars is an advantage for the Patriots, and New England is always looking for any possible edge it can get.

Seriously anything can happen between now and Sunday afternoon when it comes to Brady, and that is exactly how the Patriots want it to be.

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