Tom Brady may have the New England Patriots rolling toward the NFL playoffs and another first-round bye, but a new report suggests that the quarterback’s lingering elbow injury may be more of a factor than the team is letting on.
Brady led the Patriots to a 24-17 win over the Buffalo Bills on Saturday, locking up the AFC East and moving the team closer to securing a first-round bye. But as NJ.com noted, the injury to Brady’s throwing elbow has the potential to be a major factor going forward. Brady hurt the elbow during the team’s Week 14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, and he wore a large wrap on his arm in the locker room following the game.
As the report noted, Brady was seen shaking his elbow after making a throw at practice. If the injury continues to bother him, it could put a damper on an already sputtering offense.
“But Brady’s age and elbow aren’t the only problems for the Patriots this season,” the report noted. “New England has been decimated by injuries and turnover on its offense, leaving Brady with few reliable options in the passing game.”
Brady was able to stay mostly out of trouble in Saturday’s win over the Bills, taking only four hits on dropbacks and no sacks. Brady had a vintage game, completing 26 of 33 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown. He even threw a key block on an end around in the second quarter and tried to scramble for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, showing that he was not afraid to take some hard contact against one of the league’s best defenses.
But the injury could be a concern going forward for Brady and the Patriots. While the offense came alive against Buffalo, New England had struggled over the course of the last month and if the injury were to linger — or grow worse — then it would put the Patriots at serious risk of falling short of the Super Bowl for the first time in four seasons.
The Patriots may get a chance to give Brady some extra rest, however. With the win on Saturday, the Patriots moved into position to clinch a first-round bye with a Kansas City Chiefs loss on Sunday night to the Chicago Bears. If that were the case, New England could have the chance to sit Brady for two weeks and rest up the elbow for the divisional round game.