The New England Patriots are AFC East champions for the 10th consecutive season, but that won’t stop the chorus of rumors surrounding Tom Brady’s health.
The 41-year-old quarterback, who has appeared on the Patriots’ injury report several times this season, has been rumored to be battling an MCL injury. While he’s still been great statistically this year, Brady hasn’t been his best. But one of his former teammates isn’t buying the injury rumor, saying it all comes down to the QB not wanting to get hit.
“I don’t know if he’s hurt or if he’s just getting older,” Ninkovich told WEEI’s Rob Bradford and Alex Reimer on Monday, as transcribed by WEEI.com. “Everyone seems to have this false sense that Tom is invincible, but he’s 41 years old, playing a position where you get 300-pound guys landing on you, hitting you, big guys all around you. It gets a little hairy in there. I just think that we’re seeing Tom slow down a little bit.
“I see a guy that just doesn’t want to get hit,” Ninkovich added. “When you’re in a game where that’s the name of the game and getting hit all the time, I think he’s at the point of his career where he’s like, ‘All right, I need to get myself ready for the playoffs, I can’t take unnecessary hits,’ in a game where they pretty much had it in hand.”
Brady finished Sunday’s victory over the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium by completing 13 of his 24 passes for 126 yards, two interceptions and a touchdown. New England and Co. finishes out the regular season Sunday against the New York Jets before the postseason begins.