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Tom Brady hasn’t missed many starts during his 18-year NFL career Marshall Newhouse Jersey , and no one sounds too worried that he’ll be sidelined for Sunday’s AFC championship game.

Nonetheless, after Brady sat out the Patriots’ practice on Thursday – and did not speak to reporters as scheduled – there was plenty of speculation about the 40-year-old quarterback’s health.

Brady sat out with a right-hand injury after being limited by the same issue a day earlier as New England prepares for its matchup with Jacksonville.

Brady wore a glove on the injured hand during the stretching portion of practice that was open to reporters. He usually wears a glove only on his non-throwing hand. He was listed as a non-participant on the injury report, and his news conference was postponed until Friday.

With scant official information about the nature of Brady’s injury, it fell to backup quarterback Brian Hoyer to address the situation. More than 50 reporters swarmed his locker as he walked through the locker room, and after stepping into the training room, Hoyer returned to find the assembled group.

”You guys waiting for Phil?” Hoyer asked wryly, referring to receiver Phillip Dorsett’s adjacent locker.

For the next six minutes he was asked a half-dozen questions about Brady, a quarterback he has now backed up twice. Hoyer said he didn’t see Brady get hurt and wouldn’t elaborate on how much he’s been able to do in practice the last two days.

”I’m always preparing to play, because the truth of reality is you never know when your name’s gonna be called,” he said.

Jaguars coach Doug Marrone expects his defense to line up against Brady, not Hoyer, on Sunday.

”I’m sure he can throw left-handed if he has a problem with his right hand, you know, and throw it just as well,” Marrone said Thursday.

Hoyer was Brady’s backup for three seasons from 2009 through 2011. After leaving in 2012, he started for at least five-game stretches during stops in Cleveland, Houston Patrick Kerney Jersey , Chicago and San Francisco.

Hoyer was cut by the 49ers on Oct. 31 after they traded a second-round pick to New England for Jimmy Garoppolo. He signed as Brady’s backup the following day.

”I prepare every week like I’m gonna play,” Hoyer said. ”Whether I do or I don’t, that’s not really up to me.”

Having coached in Brady’s division in Buffalo, Marrone is familiar with Brady’s ability to play through pain.

Brady appeared on the Patriots’ weekly injury report several times during the latter half of this season with injuries to both his Achilles tendon and his left shoulder.

He has never missed a playoff start during his 18-year career. He hasn’t missed any start because of an injury since he sat out the final 15 games of the 2008 season after tearing ligaments in his left knee during New England’s season opener.

Brady missed the first four games of 2016 while serving his ”Deflategate” suspension. He also popped up on the injury report late that season, but he didn’t miss a game and capped the season with his MVP performance in the Patriots’ comeback win over Atlanta in the Super Bowl.

Devin McCourty chuckled when he was asked about the frenzy created this week by Brady’s injury.

”When you’re a good-looking guy, a good quarterback, people want to know about you. I understand,” McCourty said. ”My people want to know about him, too. I get text messages and phone calls. When I first got here it was, `Did you meet Tom? Are you and Tom friends?’ I’m happy now. Eight years in, I consider us friends. So I’m kind of a big deal back home.”



Not only was the Philadelphia Eagles’ knockout of New England a thrill-a-minute slugfest, it produced some of the biggest calls the Super Bowl has ever seen.

For once, the whistles didn’t go the Patriots’ way, such as Philly’s two second-half touchdowns that survived reviews at the NFL’s league headquarters, including Zach Ertz’s game-winner just before the two-minute warning of the 41-33 thriller.

There was Belichick’s head-scratching decision not to play Super Bowl 49 star Malcolm Butler on defense against a team that would rack up 41 points and Danny Amendola’s incompletion to Tom ”Butterfingers ” Brady on a gadget play that backfired.

”Yeah, I caught it” in practice, Brady said. ”Didn’t catch it tonight.”

That was but one of the Patriots’ early stumbles that put them in catch-up mode.

They flubbed a field goal when Stephen Gostkowski’s holder Hayes Pullard Jersey , punter Ryan Allen, mishandled the snap, and Gostkowski was wide left on an extra point, leaving the Patriots trailing by double digits at halftime.

One reason for Philly’s 22-12 halftime lead was game MVP Nick Foles becoming the first quarterback to throw and catch a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl.

Tight end Trey Burton, a college quarterback, had never thrown an NFL pass, and Foles had never caught one until they teamed up on fourth-and-goal from the 1.

It’s not as if the Eagles were perfect. They, too, missed an extra point and also the 2-point conversion on their next touchdown, and coach Doug Pederson’s decision to chase points early on loomed large when Tom Brady put the Patriots ahead 33-32 with his second touchdown strike to Rob Gronkowski with less than 10 minutes remaining.

That’s when the Eagles and offensive coordinator Frank Reich made their best decisions of the game. Foles executed the drive of a lifetime that ended with Ertz diving across the goal line after hauling in an 11-yard catch.

Reminiscent of Jesse James’ score for Pittsburgh against New England that was wiped out on review.

Ertz, whose Super Bowl triumph matched his wife, Julie, who won a world championship in soccer in 2015, lost control as he landed but grabbed the ball. The Eagles and their fans cautiously celebrated while awaiting Al Riveron’s crew in New York, which upheld the score, much to the Patriots’ chagrin.

Amendola, for one Albert McClellan Jersey , thought it was the right call.

”They called it a catch, three feet down and a football move,” he said. ”I call it a catch.”

Soon afterward, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz made his best call of the game.

Unable to get to Brady all game, the Eagles’ exhausted defenders were finally able to catch their breath during Foles’ 14-play, 75-yard drive that included a fourth down conversion and ate up more than seven minutes of game clock.

”We just couldn’t get off the field on third down or make a play to get the ball back to our offense,” cornerback Stephon Gilmore said.

”We didn’t do a good job of slowing them down,” defensive back Duron Harmon said. ”I mean, we didn’t stop them at all. So, that’s exactly why they are the Super Bowl champs and we’re sitting here in second place.”

Maybe if they had Butler in?

”It doesn’t matter,” declared Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty.

Coach Bill Belichick said he played Eric Rowe in place of Butler for strategic, not disciplinary reasons, but he declined to elaborate on his move that surprised his team just before kickoff.

Rowe, himself, said Butler could have certainly helped the Patriots, who became the first team to lose an NFL game with a quarterback throwing for 500 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

”Yeah, we could have used anybody Jimmie Ward Jersey ,” he said.

Still, Brady was poised for another of his patented Super Bowl comebacks, hitting Gronk for 8 yards.

But on second-and-2 from his 33, the Eagles finally got to Brady, denying him a sixth ring and a fifth Super Bowl MVP honor.

Brandon Graham delivered one of the few defensive highlights in the most prolific offensive game in NFL history, beating Shaq Mason off the line, reaching his left hand out and punching the ball out of Brady’s hands for a strip-sack. Rookie Derek Barnett pounced on the loose ball and Eagles fans began celebrating their first title since winning the 1960 NFL championship.

Brady had made the late-game comeback a specialty in winning a record five Super Bowl titles, including last year’s rally from 28-3 down to beat Atlanta in overtime. He also led late game-winning scoring drives to beat the Rams, Carolina and Seattle.

The Eagles showed no sign of slowing Brady down on Sunday as he threw for a playoff-record 505 yards and three touchdowns, carving up the defense at will on a night when the Patriots did not punt once or turn it over until Brady’s late fumble.

”It’s tough to lose these games,” Brady said. But ”you can’t win the game if you’re not in the game.”

And Brady and Belichick have been to eight of them.

Eight’s enough, maybe.

Coordinators Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels are ready for their own head coaching gigs.

The previous time the Patriots played Philadelphia in the Super Bowl, they hoisted their third trophy in four years. Then, they lost both coordinators and wouldn’t hoist another one for a decade.

Then, there’s the meeting with Brady, coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft to smooth things over after a reported falling-out follo Womens Trent Brown Jersey


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