Shoulder-Gate: Should Brady play Sunday?
Tom Brady has a hurt left shoulder and that’s why he missed practice Wednesday… or Thursday…or he missed practice for non-injury related reasons… or he kind of practiced and was out there for warm-ups but didn’t actually practice… or he threw a fifty yard bomb to Chad Ochocinco that was caught with one hand over Devin McCourty followed by Bill Belichick taking McCourty out back to put him out of his misery. I really don’t know. There have been so many conflicting reports out of Foxboro in the past 48 hours that it no longer seems par for the course for the New England Patriots.
What we do know is this: Tom Brady hurt his left-shoulder diving for extra yards last Sunday against the Dolphins and he got x-rays this week to check for separation. That’s about the only facts we have. After that, it is the Patriots telling all of us that the x-rays came back negative and that there is no separation of the left shoulder. Sorry for being skeptical about any report coming from the Patriots.
The big question now is whether or not Tom Brady should play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills
After the jump, the case for Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer
It seems like the Patriots get into this kind of situation every year. It’s Week 17, the Patriots have little to play for-this year it is home-field advantage in the playoffs which might be overrated- and the team has to decide which starters play and which starters don’t. The last time a decision really affected the Patriots was in 2009-10 when Wes Welker tore his ACL/MCL against the Houston Texans in Week 17 which threw the entire offense out of synch for the first round playoff game against the Ravens.
Now the Patriots have a situation where the most important player on the New England Patriots might be banged up and needs to avoid a major injury in order for the Patriots to make a run at the Super Bowl. Without Tom Brady, the Patriots go no where. I can’t stress that enough.
The argument for Tom Brady is simple. The team and himself wants to reach numerous offensive records including 5000 yards passing. Tom Brady is also 3 touchdowns away from 300 in his career. Yes, these are Tom Brady’s numbers, but the whole offense feels good about them too. Tom Brady may be a distant third on the MVP list because of the performances of Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, but Tom Brady is putting up one of the best seasons of any quarterback, ever. It would be nice for Brady to be able to finish it off on Sunday.
The Patriots are also still fighting for the one seed in the AFC that will give them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Say what you want about home-field in recent playoffs (and also the success that Patriots have had in Pittsburgh and Baltimore in recent years) but it would still be nice to have games at Gillette instead of in Maryland or Pittsburgh.
Obviously though, Brady’s health is paramount and wanting records and home-field are secondary to making a run in the playoffs and staying healthy. With Brian Hoyer starting Sunday, all the chance is taken out of the game. Without Brady, it doesn’t matter how many games at home the Patriots get, they aren’t winning the Super Bowl. Why take the chance if he’s already suffering from an injury to make it worse?
I really don’t care about home-field, I just care about the Super Bowl and these Patriots are good enough to get through the playoffs as a two seed and get to Indy for the Super Bowl. If Brian Hoyer starts Sunday, I really won’t mind that much. Sure, the high water passing marks would be fun, but it’s not worth losing the rest of the season over.