PROVIDENCE — The questions surrounding Tom Brady’s right hand were answered Saturday — a cut requiring stitches on his right thumb, according to multiple reports.
Brady suffered no tendon, ligament or bone damage, according to an ESPN report. Brady is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against Jacksonville, but all indications as to his availability are good.
On Friday, Bill Belichick was evasive about Brady’s status. When asked if Brady would be a game-time decision, Belichick said, “today’s Friday.”
Did Brady’s status complicate the game plan?
“I don’t know.”
Was Belichick concerned that if Brady plays, he could still function at quarterback?
“Yeah, I don’t know. We’ll see.”
Brady suffered the injury Wednesday when an unidentified player (some reports have identified as Rex Burkhead) ran into him during practice. Brady missed Thursday’s practice and was a limited participant Friday.
Brady was seen during open media sessions wearing two red gloves and he even kept them on during a Friday news conference. During his discussion with reporters, he refused to address the injury or whether he would play against the Jaguars.
The only thing Brady addressed about his hand was the complications involved in wearing gloves when throwing a football.
“They are all different,” he said. “It is football.”
The Patriots don’t seem concerned about Brady’s health, yet backup Brian Hoyer took first-team snaps in Thursday’s practice.
Brady, who threw passes in Friday’s practice, has battled through past injuries. But given this latest injury is to his throwing hand, it raised questions about his playing status.
“I have played in a lot of games with pain,” he said.
It seems Brady will play in pain Sunday.
“Super tough,” Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola said of Brady. “The toughest. He’s a warrior, he’s a competitor and there’s really only one reason why he’s here and that’s to play football.”
Brady’s hand injury was the only drama during the buildup of Sunday’s game. Not even Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette’s fender bender, occurring Tuesday, made big headlines. Fournette said he was rear-ended by a Steelers fan and is fine. His ankle, tweaked during the AFC divisional-round win over the Steelers, is also fine. Fournette was limited during practices and should play.
Brady is the big deal here and the Jaguars, like most other observers of the AFC title game, expect him to play.
“No . . . Tommy will play,” Jags coach Doug Marrone said. “We know that.”