Tom Brady was supposed to address reporters Wednesday, four days before the AFC Championship Game against the Jaguars. But his appearance was cancelled by an unexpected injury.
A New England Patriots spokesman said the four-time Super Bowl MVP would not be available because he was meeting with the team’s medical staff.
It was later revealed on the injury report that Brady was limited in practice Wednesday due to an issue with his right hand, the one he uses to grip the ball.
Brady has sporadically appeared on the injury report since a Week 12 loss to the Dolphins, his Achilles listed as the reason. He has also appeared with a left shoulder problem and has missed multiple practices over the past few months.
But Wednesday was the first time the 40-year-old’s hand was revealed as a source of any trouble. The Patriots conducted their first practice of the week in preparation for Jacksonville earlier in the day, and Brady was present during the portion open to reporters at Gillette Stadium.
“He always steps it up,” tight end Rob Gronkowski said of Brady. “He’s a big-time player, and whenever the pressure is on, no matter when it is, he always steps up. I’ve answered this many times to just my friends, to you guys, to whoever — it’s kinda hard to say how his preparation changes because he’s always the same every single week.
“He’s always preparing to the max to be the best player he can be. So you really don’t see a difference in his preparation, but his focus — he’s always ready. He’s always ready to go.”
The last time Brady missed a game due to injury was 2008, when he blew out his knee on opening day.
This season, the two-time league MVP threw for 4,577 yards and 32 touchdowns, making him a strong candidate to win the award a third time.
Follow Lorenzo Reyes on Twitter @LorenzoGReyes
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