The injury — or non-injury — could be a big blow to a team that relies heavily on its quarterback. With Brady healthy, the Patriots are yet again a favorite in the AFC. With him banged up, their prospects become much worse.
Whatever his condition, Brady has thrown for 3,032 yards this season, second-most in the NFL. He has thrown 23 touchdowns, but his uncharacteristic 10 interceptions are worrisome to a fan base that has gotten used to its quarterback turning the ball over about once per presidential administration.
Unless Brady's arm is about to fall off at the joint, it's unlikely Brian Hoyer or Ryan Mallett will be seen taking snaps at Gillette Stadium on Sundays this season. Still, the Patriots might have trouble in the postseason, when the game gets faster and more physical, if Brady is not at 100 percent.