What looked like the Patriots being coy at the beginning of the week has led to a bit of panic from Patriots fans as Tom Brady is officially listed as questionable with a hand injury. If Brady is unable to play against the Jaguars in the AFC Championship, Brian Hoyer would get the start for the Patriots.
It is worth noting Hoyer is the only backup quarterback the Patriots have on their roster. If Brady is not active on Sunday, Hoyer would technically be the only quarterback on the active roster thanks to the Patriots trading away Jimmy Garoppolo earlier this season. Hoyer has played in the league for nine seasons, and has started in 37 games over his career, including in six games this season for the 49ers.
In an interview with the Sporting News, Hoyer assured fans he was ready to go if his number is called.
I prepare every week like I’m going to play. Whether I do or I don’t, that’s not really up to me. So whether I’m getting the reps or not, I’m always preparing to play, because the truth of reality is you never know when your name is going to be called. … If I don’t play, it’s good for our team. If I do, then I’m ready to go.
It would be shocking if Brady does not try to play on Sunday, but the bigger question is what level Brady will be able to play. Pregame’s R.J. Bell reported Brady’s injury is more serious than people think.
“Multiple private sources telling me …Tom Brady’s hand injury is WORSE than the mainstream [media] thinks,” Bell tweeted.
Brady’s most recent interview does not do much to provide assurance that he would be playing on Sunday. NFL.com detailed Brady’s brief answers about the details on his hand injury.
Question: Tom, how’s your hand?
Tom Brady: “I’m not talking about it.”
Q: Thumbs up or thumbs down for Sunday?
TB: “We’ll see.”
Q: Did you throw any footballs today?
TB: “I’m not talking about that.”
Q: Did you practice today?
TB: “I was out there.”
Sports Illustrated reported Brady needed four stiches on his hand after hitting the buckle of a teammates helmet.