Tom Brady hasn’t missed many starts during his 18-year NFL career Youth Da'Shawn Hand 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 Youth JK Scott Jersey , Houston, 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.”
Eduardo Escobar, yet again, gave the Minnesota Twins the go-ahead hit.
Two of them, of course. He’s become a doubles machine.
With a two-base hit that drove in two runs off Chris Sale in the sixth inning and another that launched a four-run eighth, Escobar led for the Twins to a 6-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.
”I don’t know if he can keep up that kind of torrid pace Youth Oren Burks Jersey , but we’re seeing a guy who is supremely confident,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
Robby Scott (0-1), just recalled from Triple-A, relieved Sale to start the eighth and walked the first two batters. Joe Kelly entered, and Escobar’s one-out line drive bounced in front of Jackie Bradley Jr. and skipped past the center fielder as two runs scored. The official scorer later changed his ruling from a single to a double, giving Escobar a majors-leading 32 for the season. Robbie Grossman broke the game open with a two-run triple.
Escobar is on a season-long pace for 75 doubles, which would blow by Earl Webb’s record of 67 doubles in 1931 for the Red Sox.
”Let me tell you: If they don’t catch the ball I’m going to run to second base, 100 percent,” Escobar said. ”My mentality when I make contact with the ball is to run all the way to second base.”
Escobar, who will be a free agent in the fall, has for the fourth straight season been slated for a utility role only to hit his way into regular duty after a setback in the infield. This year, injury and ineffectiveness for third baseman Miguel Sano paved Escobar’s way into the everyday lineup.
”If he doesn’t have a double a day, it’s like a disappointment right now. He’s unbelievable. He always finds a barrel,” said teammate Trevor Hildenberger, who struck out American League RBI leader J.D. Martinez with runners at second and third to end the seventh after relieving Jose Berrios.
The Red Sox went 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base.
The late surge masked a classic pitching duel between Sale and Berrios, the six-time All-Star against the budding ace. Sale retired the first 14 batters he faced before Ehire Adrianza’s soft roller to Rafael Devers at third base went for an infield single.
With a two-out home run by Devers in the sixth off Berrios, the Red Sox were in control. All it took was a single by Ryan LaMarre and a hit by pitch for Joe Mauer, though, to start a rally in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Escobar drove a 1-1 slider near the dirt from Sale down the left-field line for a 2-1 lead. Escobar pumped his arms back and forth before clapping and pointing at his teammates in the dugout.
”You know this guy. Every pitch is nasty,” said Escobar, once a minor league teammate of Sale’s in the Chicago White Sox system. ”I guess I made good contact.”
Sale finished seven innings, the 12th time in 16 starts this season he has logged at least six. This was the 11th turn in which he’s yielded two runs or fewer and his fifth double-digit strikeout performance. In his last three starts, he has allowed only 11 hits in 21 innings. Yet the Red Sox are only 8-8 with him on the mound.
”I’m not going to hang my head about it. I know these guys in here want to win. I know they’re not doing anything different on my day,” Sale said. ”Maybe I’ll bring popsicles or something for the boys.”
Struggling Twins right-hander Addison Reed, who has appeared in only one of the previous six games, has been at least temporarily removed from his setup role. Zach Duke (3-2) took the eighth inning instead and, with two outs, surrendered Sandy Leon’s tying single that drove in Devers.
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia, who has played in only three games this season because of inflammation in his left knee Youth Ronnie Harrison Jersey , has still not been cleared for baseball activities since returning to the DL three weeks ago. The lack of progress has been concerning, Cora acknowledged. ”It was major surgery. We didn’t know what to expect. So we are where we are now, hoping that, yeah, he’ll be back. When? We don’t know,” Cora said.
Twins: RHP Ervin Santana, yet to appear this season because of a slow recovery from surgery on his middle finger, threw a 35-pitch bullpen session before the game. He’ll face live hitters on Friday, another step forward after his setback last month.
Red Sox: LHP David Price (8-4, 3.76 ERA) pitches Wednesday night. He is 6-0 in his last seven starts, with two runs or fewer allowed in all but one of those, when he gave up three runs. Price is 10-3 with a 2.52 ERA in his career against the Twins.
Twins: RHP Lance Lynn (4-5, 4.98 ERA) takes the mound in the middle game of the series. He’s 3-1 with a 2.01 ERA over his last five turns, with a .195 batting average against him and 30 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings.