FOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady sported a large ice pack on his throwing elbow as he addressed reporters following Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
It was an unfamiliar scene — the New England Patriots’ star quarterback wrapped up like a pitcher who’d just completed a start — but not one worth worrying over, according to Brady.
“I just got hit right on my elbow,” the 42-year-old signal-caller said after his late-game comeback stalled at Kansas City’s 5-yard line in a 23-16 Patriots defeat. “It’s fine. It’ll probably be on the injury report, but I’ll be there next Sunday.”
Tom Brady sporting a large wrap and ice pack on his right elbow. pic.twitter.com/K0vFIAbE7L
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) December 9, 2019
An elbow injury already had limited Brady’s practice participation in each of the previous three weeks. He was pressured throughout Sunday’s contest, taking three sacks and absorbing six QB hits.
Third-string center James Ferentz — making his first career start at the position in place of an injured Ted Karras — struggled in pass protection against Chiefs star defensive tackle Chris Jones, and New England’s offense sputtered for long stretches.
After scoring on a flea flicker to Julian Edelman on their opening possession, the Patriots found the end zone just once the rest of the way, and that came after a blocked punt that set them up at Kansas City’s 19-yard line (They did, however, have another score wiped away by a blown call.)
The Patriots went 1-for-3 in the red zone and 2-for-12 on third down — they’ve been uncharacteristically poor in both of those areas this season — and Edelman accounted for 95 of Brady’s 169 passing yards.
The loss was the Patriots’ second in a row and third in their last five games. They now sit at 10-3, just one game ahead of the Chiefs in the AFC standings and one ahead of the Buffalo Bills in the race for the AFC East crown.
In order for New England to earn home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens would need to lose at least two of their final three games. The Patriots, who currently hold the conference’s No. 2 seed at 10-3, close the season with a road game against the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday, followed by home matchups with the Bills and Miami Dolphins.
“We’ve just got to go out and try to play better and try to win next week’s game,” Brady said. “Disappointing, but not going to feel sorry for ourselves. Try to go back to work and do a better job.”