Sportress of Blogitude

Tom Brady absent from portion of New England Patriots practice open to media


Uh-oh, SpaghettiOs. In what likely will turn out to be much ado about nothing, Tom Brady noticeably was absent during the portion of Wednesday’s practice that was open to the media. While the New England Patriots quarterback could have joined the team on the practice field after the pesky media was ushered away — not to mention the fact that the media reportedly is afforded only 10 minutes to watch practice — it still gives cause for concern, especially during the week leading up to the AFC Championship Game which is being touted as perhaps the final playoff showdown between Brady and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

As noted in a report, Brady has been on the injury report since Week 8 for his right shoulder — a not-uncommon display of gamesmanship by head coach Bill Belichick — but this apparently is the first practice that the media has reported that Brady missed since a practice that occurred during the team’s playoff bye week last year. Brady also missed a Wednesday workout heading in to last season’s AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens in 2011, but the Pats won that game, so one absence from practice shouldn’t be a major source of concern.

Or should it? Are Brady and the Patriots attempting some kind of injury coverup? To further add intrigue, Brady’s weekly press conference scheduled for Wednesday has been canceled by the team. Although CBS Boston reports that Brady also is scheduled to meet with the media on Friday and perhaps the Patriots simply decided that one presser was sufficient for the week.

Or could it be more than that? There is no reason to suspect that the cancellation of Brady’s meeting with reporters on Wednesday has anything to do with an injury. In all likelihood, this probably is yet another example of Belichick playing every card he has in his hand, another brilliant display of savvy deception and meticulously planned subterfuge. A diversion to manipulate the dialogue away from more relevant and important issues that merit discussion.

One can’t put anything past Bill Belichick. Especially during the playoffs.

But in the end, there’s no reason to expect that Brady won’t be under center come Sunday, but worthwhile or not, it’s now a storyline heading into the AFC Championship Game.