TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady said he believes he escaped serious injury to the thumb of his right, throwing hand in Sunday’s 45-17 win over the Miami Dolphins and doesn’t foresee any issues beyond soreness as he prepares for Thursday night’s road game at the Philadelphia Eagles.
He suffered the injury with 2:30 to go in the first half, hitting his hand on the helmet of a defender, but continued playing. Teammates and even coaches were unaware of the injury as three of his five touchdown passes came after he was injured.
“I didn’t [know],” wide receiver Mike Evans said. “But he’s a tough guy obviously, one of the most durable players we’ve seen. He looked normal to me, so I didn’t know he was injured.”
When did offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich find out?
“Very late in the game,” Leftwich said with a laugh.
When Brady spoke to the media Tuesday, fresh off a morning walk-through and before afternoon practice, he had his thumb and wrist taped. He also wore a glove during Monday’s practice but did not throw a pass.
“I think it’s just a little bit sore, but I expected it to be. But I think I should be fine for Thursday,” Brady said. “There’s no serious injury at all. It’s more just discomfort, but I think that should be gone here in the next day or two.”
“This is just, you play a game, you get hit — you deal with bumps and bruises over the course of the year. It just so happens that this bruise is on my hand,” Brady said. “I’m just trying to be preventative and precautious and be smart — it’s been less than 48 hours since it happened — so it’s not like it’s had five or six days to do its thing. But I feel confident that I will go out there and do what I need to do.”
The team had a walk-through Tuesday, much like Monday.
“The little bit he threw around, I didn’t see any pain or anything like that,” coach Bruce Arians said of Brady, who again wore a glove on his right throwing hand.
Despite the Eagles’ 2-3 record, Brady says they have one of the best defensive lines in football. He’s also eager to exorcise the demons of last year’s Thursday night gaffe, when the Bucs lost in Chicago 20-19 after Brady lost track of downs.
“It’s a really tough defense. They get a lot of pressure with those guys up front,” Brady said. “They’ve got a talented group of players, no doubt. I think they’re kind of an ascending football team. They’re a very dangerous football team.
Bucs safety Antoine Winfield Jr. practiced Tuesday for a second consecutive day but remains in the concussion protocol. There is still the possibility he could play Thursday against the Eagles.
“He was limited today. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow,” Arians said.
The team will also evaluate tight end Rob Gronkowski early Wednesday before making a determination whether he will travel to Philadelphia.
“He made really good progress,” Arians said.