According to a report in Thursday's Boston Herald Tom Brady has undergone two more procedures in his injured left knee as his doctors continue to battle infection since the original ACL reconstruction on Oct. 6.
Citing an unnamed source the Herald reports that "the fear is the patellar tendon graft used to replace Brady's anterior cruciate ligament is in danger of becoming compromised." If that happens, the graft would need to be removed and the entire procedure started over "from scratch."
Brady himself acknowledged one of the three reported procedures since the original surgery, issuing a statement via his website TomBrady.com on Oct. 18. His backup, Matt Cassel, continues to speak with the fallen captain on a regular basis but says he doesn't have much information to offer on the reigning NFL MVP's health battles.
"I really don't know," Cassel responded when asked about Thursday's reports. "Like I said, the status of Tom from an injury standpoint, all I know is that when I talked to him he's in high spirits and he sounds good and he says that he's recovering well."
Injuries won't break Pats
Having lost Brady, Laurence Maroney and Rodney Harrison for the season, among the eight players the team has placed on injured reserve this fall, New England is once again dealing with the battle of attrition that is life in the NFL. But as always those healthy bodies in the locker room expect the team press past the losses.
But is there a point at which that might no longer be possible?
"Is there a breaking point? Well if there is we haven't found it," Ellis Hobbs said with confidence. "Somehow, someway we just find a way to move on through the doubters, through the onlookers who consistently say we are down and out. We just continue to focus."
Working on sacksWhen asked about the season-high six sacks that New England allowed in Monday night's win over the Denver, Cassel was quick to put the blame for most of the negative plays on himself.
"From a quarterback standpoint, I need to do a better job of throwing the ball away when I need to," Cassel said. "There are times when I'm trying to let the play develop downfield. If I'm standing in there too long, I just need to learn when that time clock goes off and just throw it away. That's an area that I can help the offensive line out with.
"Obviously, a lot of those sacks aren't on them; they're on me. Whether I'm trying to scramble around and make a play, or do something like that, that's something that I'm getting a little bit more used to as I go forward, knowing that the sometimes the defense is going to have the right play called against us and I just have to throw the ball away, and take the loss, and go from there."
A view from practice
The following players were not seen during the media-viewing portion of practice on the outdoor fields behind Gillette Stadium early Thursday afternoon: Lewis Sanders, LaMont Jordan, Sammy Morris, Eric Alexander, Nick Kaczurand Jarvis Green.
The workout took place under sunny brisk conditions with the players wearing helmets, shells and sweatpants.
Matt Gutierrez, Vince Redd, Titus Adams, Sam Aikenand Tyson DeVree all wore black practice jerseys, signifying them as the practice players of the week for their work preparing the team for Monday night's win over the Broncos.
Notes Heath Evans is hosting an online raffle at www.netraffle.org to give a fan and five guests a chance at joining the fullback and a number of his teammates at Heath Evans' Celtics Luxury Suite Party when the NBA Champs raise their 17th banner at the Boston Garden prior to the Oct. 28 meeting with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tickets for the raffle are $2 each with a minimum of five tickets. The prize also includes roundtrip limo service, an autographed football from the Patriots in attendance at the party and food and drinks. All proceeds benefit the Heath Evans Foundation and the Celebrities for Charity Foundation. The raffle closes at noon on Monday, Oct. 27. … Kevin Faulk, he of few words, had praise for rookie free agent BenJarvus Green-Ellis'approach to the game in his short time in New England. "He's done an exceptional job getting himself together and getting ready to play football." … The New England defense is coming off arguably its most impressive performance of the season in blowing out the Broncos, but that doesn't mean alls well on that side of the ball. One single successful effort does not a season make. "Consistent," Adalius Thomas said simply of what the group has been seeking all season. "You can't just show up for one Sunday. The challenge is there again." … During his weekly press conference Cassel was asked for his reaction to his AFC Offensive Player of the Week award. "Somebody told me and I was completely shocked to be completely honest. I really think it comes down to that the team played really well," he said. "It says a lot about us getting the running game going and the offensive line [playing well]. This game definitely comes down to 11 people playing together and I think that is really what it is [about]. It's more for the offensive side of the ball than anything else."