Another Sunday, another report of a past injury to a Patriots player.
Last week came the news that offensive lineman Logan Mankins tore an ACL in Week One of the 2011 season against the Dolphins, and that he played the entire year with the undisclosed injury.
Today comes news that, in the Week 16 rematch with the Dolphins, quarterback Tom Brady suffered a slightly separated left (non-throwing) shoulder, according to Albert Breer of NFL Network.
The Pats reported a shoulder injury over the ensuing weeks, but it was hardly highlighted. In Week 17, Brady missed the Wednesday practice with the “not injury related” designation. Come Thursday and Friday, however, he was listed as limited with a “left shoulder” injury, and he was officially “probable” for the season-ending game against the Bills.
Two weeks later, as the Pats prepared to play the Broncos in the divisional round, Brady was listed as fully participating in Wednesday’s practice with a “left shoulder” injury, but he thereafter was removed from the report.
For the conference title game against the Ravens, Brady didn’t participate on Wednesday due to the shoulder, fully participated on Thursday due to the shoulder, and then disappeared from the injury report.
For the Super Bowl, Brady didn’t appear on the report at all.
Reports from late December indicated that Brady had a precautionary X-ray, but that there was no separation. Given that there was a separation, it’s hard not to wonder whether the shoulder affected Brady’s accuracy in the Super Bowl, especially after he was crunched by Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck. Later, Brady badly underthrew tight end Rob Gronkowski, and Brady was subtly off target on a potential game-clinching throw that Wes Welker has caught the bulk of the blame for not catching.