The New England Patriots can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Star quarterback Tom Brady, who sustained a mild hand injury during a recent practice, is expected to be fine.
Per the Boston Herald, Brady had his throwing hand banged by a fellow teammate, but x-rays later confirmed the damage not to be serious. With no breaks or ligament tears, Brady “should be okay” for this weekend’s AFC title game showdown with the Jacksonville Jaguars:
Source close to Tom Brady: “Hand should be OK.” Could affect him slightly but belief is that he should be good overall.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) January 18, 2018
Brady’s status was the talk of Wednesday, as there was speculation that his injury could have been more severe than early reports had indicated. Even a mild injury could present a problem against a Jaguars defense that ranked second in the NFL in sacks (55) in 2017.
Jacksonville put pressure on Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers a week ago, forcing two key turnovers and even returning a Big Ben fumble for a touchdown. That fumble-six proved to be the difference in the end, as the Jags pulled out a win in a crazy 45-42 shootout at Heinz Field.
The top sportsbooks don’t think the Jaguars exit Massachusetts with a win (-9 underdogs at the moment), but Brady’s ailing hand could at least tighten the spread and lower expectations. The Patriots will be vying for a 6th Super Bowl win if they can move on this week, while they’ll be playing in a remarkable 7th straight AFC Championship game this weekend.
For now, it appears Brady avoided a serious hand injury. However, it will be interesting to see if he’s negatively impacted in this week’s game and how that leads bettors to lay their money. It also could shift ownership in daily fantasy football contests. Brady is the most expensive passing option on the board at DraftKings and FanDuel, but even the slightest injury could hurt his chances of thriving against such a tough defense.
If Brady isn’t a realistic option in NFL DFS tournaments, the focus could quickly shift to the likes of Case Keenum, Nick Foles or even Blake Borltes. Bortles could be the more compelling case of the three, as he actually gets the best overall matchup (Pats ranked 26th versus quarterbacks in 2017) by the numbers.