Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are going to be playing on a short week in Week 6, and the veteran quarterback isn’t quite going to be 100 percent for the contest.
Brady is dealing with a thumb injury that he picked up during Tampa Bay’s 45-17 win over the Dolphins. It occurred when he hit his hand on the helmet of Miami defensive tackle Christian Wilkins while throwing a pass.
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The hit occurred in the first half, but Brady played through the rest of the game against the Dolphins. He came out of the contest with a wrap on his finger but seemed to be in good spirits after totaling 411 yards and five TDs in Tampa Bay’s blowout win. He even joked that he no longer cared about trying to cover up his injuries.
“In my younger days, I probably would have never showed you guys,” Brady said of his thumb wrap to reporters after Sunday’s game, per ESPN. “I’d probably try to keep it a secret. But, I think, at my old age, I don’t care so much. It’s just kind of a football injury, so I’ll do my best to get ready for this game — we’ll see what happens.”
So, will Tom Brady play? And just how healthy is he? Here’s what we know about the thumb problem he’s dealing with.
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Tom Brady injury update
Brady doesn’t seem to be in any danger of missing the game against the Eagles. He called his injured thumb “sore” at practice on Tuesday but otherwise seemed to imply that he was ready to go.
“I think it’s just a little bit sore, but I expected it to be. But I think I should be fine for Thursday,” Brady said to reporters, per ESPN. “There’s no serious injury at all. It’s more just discomfort, but I think that should be gone here in the next day or two.”
As Brady explained, he would have shrugged off the injury if not for the fact that it was in his throwing hand.
“If it was my left hand I wouldn’t even think two seconds about it,” Brady said. “But the fact that it’s your throwing hands — there’s not many things that are that important to a quarterback. Probably your right shoulder, your right elbow and your right hand So any time you know you get banged on one of those, it could be an issue.”
He also has been taking extra care of his injury because the Bucs are on a short week.
“This is just, you play a game, you get hit — you deal with bumps and bruises over the course of the year. It just so happens that this bruise is on my hand,” Brady said. “I’m just trying to be preventative and precautious and be smart — it’s been less than 48 hours since it happened — so it’s not like it’s had five or six days to do its thing. But I feel confident that I will go out there and do what I need to do.”
Maybe Brady won’t throw as much as usual — he’s averaging a league-high 45 pass attempts per game — but he appears to be healthy enough to suit up.
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Tom Brady played through a bad thumb injury in 2018
Brady has actually played through a seemingly worse thumb injury during his career. It came in the lead-up to the 2018 AFC Championship Game against the Jaguars.
As a member of the Patriots, Brady was practicing on Wednesday when he got hurt on a routine handoff to Rex Burkhead. He jammed his thumb badly on the play and as Jeff Benedict detailed in his 2020 book, “The Dynasty,” the base of Brady’s thumb ripped through his skin. It created a large laceration that required minor surgery and sutures.
Nobody was sure if Brady would be able to play against the Jaguars after the injury. He even confided in Dr. Matthew Leibman, the Patriots’ hand and wrist surgeon, that he feared the worst after the injury occurred.
“I thought this injury was going to be the end of my career,” Brady said.
But somehow, Brady managed to play despite only being halfway through his 8-10 day recovery window He completed 26 of 38 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns. He had no turnovers in the game.
If he pushed to play through that one, it’s tough to imagine him making way for Blaine Gabbert on Thursday because of this malady.