Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has a swollen hand. According to the Patriots, he doesn’t have an injured hand.
Three days after CBS cameras captured images of a puffy throwing hand despite Brady’s best efforts to keep it hidden, the Patriots officially have not acknowledged that the hand is injured. They have, for the second straight week, disclosed that Brady has a right shoulder injury, which nevertheless allowed him to fully participate in practice.
He was officially probable last Sunday with a right shoulder injury, even though a photo taken on Saturday and posted on the team’s Facebook page showed that he had two fingers on his right hand taped together.
The rules are simple. Injuries must be disclosed, even if the player has played with it or will play with it.
Last year, the Bills were fined for concealing a wrist injury suffered by defensive end Mario Williams, the Redskins were fined for not promptly disclosing that quarterback Robert Griffin III had a concussion, and the Ravens were fined for hiding an injury suffered by safety Ed Reed. It’s typically a $20,000 fine, and as we’ve said in the past it’s not much of a deterrent for a billion-dollar business.
But if no fines will be issued, the violations will become more blatant. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, for example, was listed as having an ankle injury last week even though he reportedly sprained both of them. That’s harder to prove than the Brady hand injury, which is obvious to the eye but which the Patriots nevertheless refuse to admit exists.