After a long holiday weekend, the Patriots went back to the practice field for a rare Tuesday workout, although not every member of the squad took part. Noticeably absent, quarterback Tom Brady. He was one of two players (cornerback Eric Rowe, groin problem, was the other) who didn't appear, and according to NBC Sports Boston, the reason was medical in nature.
The news outlet reports that Brady sustained a left (non-throwing) shoulder injury in Week 4 against Carolina and aggravated the injury last Thursday night in Tampa Bay. That necessitated Brady's undergoing of a magnetic resonance imaging test (MRI) today while his teammates were practicing.
Even though the Patriots practiced on Tuesday, they aren't required to distribute an injury report until Wednesday. It will be interesting to see if and how Brady is listed when that first report is made public.
Brady appears to have absorbed hits from opponents more frequently at this point in the season than in years past, and it was on one such play – a sack by Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers – that Brady apparently sustained the injury. The Buccaneers' Clinton McDonald seemingly exacerbated the problem when he sacked Brady early in the Tampa game.
"We hate to see him get hit," left tackle Nate Solder admitted after Tuesday's session. "Keeping him clean, keeping him upright, that's our goal every week."
Solder is just one of five members of the offensive line and far from the only player culpable whenever Brady has been beset by defenders. Yet, the veteran accepted his share of the responsibility for his quarterback being knocked around as much as he has in 2017.
"My goal right is just to improve every week. I haven't had a lot of great plays, and I've had some bad plays. I've got to minimize those and start playing good and doing what I'm capable of doing.
"I enjoy playing football. I know that there's ups and downs," added Solder. "You can't ever quit and give up and say, 'All is bad,' when it's not."
Solder's philosophical observation might be right, but today's Brady news certainly falls in the "bad" category, as far as the Patriots are concerned.
On a positive injury note, however, tight end Rob Gronkowski, who sat out the Bucs game last week with a left thigh contusion, managed to suit up again for practice today.