tom brady-new england patriots-bill belichick

For seven seasons, from 2004 to 2010, Tom Brady was listed on the Patriots’ injury report as “probable” with a right shoulder injury every week, save for the 2008 season opener and his subsequent stay on the injured reserve with a knee injury. And in all those weeks of his so-called shoulder injury, do you know how many games Brady missed? Zip, zero, nada. Not one. Before long, it became clear that Brady was “probable” to play in the way the sun is “probable” to come up tomorrow.

So with that history in mind, consider us skeptical about the right hand injury that has Brady “questionable” for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the Jaguars.

Brady received four stitches Wednesday after hitting his throwing hand on a teammate’s helmet. After sitting out of practice Thursday, he was a limited participant Friday. As for whether he’ll play Sunday, the Patriots are being characteristically dodgy. Asked whether Brady “might be a game-time decision,” Bill Belichick replied, “Today is Friday.” And when reporters tried to get some info out of Brady, well…

Q: How’s your hand?

A: Not talking about it.

Q: Thumbs up or thumbs down for Sunday?

A: We’ll see.

Q: Throw any footballs today?

A: I’m not talking about that.

Q: Did you practice today?

A: I was out there.

Q: For the entire practice?

A: Yeah.

Q: How was practice?

A: It was fun.

Oh, well that sure clears things up.

One of two things is going on here. Either Brady’s status for Sunday is truly in doubt and the Patriots want to keep things quiet, or Brady is fine and the Pats are simply messing with the Jaguars. If it’s the first option, get ready for some, uh, Brian Hoyer. If it’s the second, add this to the long list of times Belichick and the Patriots have sought to get in their opponents’ heads before a big game.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.