Tom Brady insists his left knee is 100 percent, though others are wondering

If something is going on with Tom Brady’s health, specifically with his left knee, he isn’t saying.

New England Patriots beat writers wonder about it. On Sunday, he didn’t do his normal pregame run to one end of the field and back, as he famously does to Jay-Z’s “Public Service Announcement.” He stopped at about midfield and turned back.

Then Brady came out of Sunday’s game with 6:39 left and the Patriots leading 24-6. Not that the Buffalo Bills were going to come back and win, but it was at least a little odd. Jeff Howe of The Athletic started his postgame piece on Brady with: “Tom Brady’s left knee​ isn’t right.” On Dec. 19, NFL Media’s Mike Giardi told 98.5 The Sports Hub he thinks Brady is dealing with an MCL issue.

Maybe it’s nothing, and just the Boston media getting worked up and speculating over the Patriots’ most important player. Brady himself said he’s fine.

After Sunday’s Patriots win, which clinched the AFC East for a 10th straight time, Brady denied any injury.

“I feel great,” Brady said, according to Howe. “I feel 100 percent.”

Brady also said, “I’m not injured.” He was not on the injury report last week.

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Tom Brady reaches 1,000 rushing yards after 19 years
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady scrambles away from Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Dec 2, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) runs for a first down during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 2: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady runs for five yards for a first quarter first down that gave him 1000 career rushing yards. The Vikings Mackensie Alexander (20) pursues him in the backround. The New England Patriots hosted the Minnesota Vikings in a regular season NFL football game at Gillette Stadium in Boston on Dec. 02, 2018. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) runs for a first down against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Dec 2, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) runs for a first down as Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mackensie Alexander (20) pursues during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 02: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates after rushing for five yards in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings to reach 1,000 career rushing yards at Gillette Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) signals first down after his run against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Dec 2, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after rushing for a first down during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
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Brady was a little more vague when on his weekly Monday spot with WEEI.

“I am not getting into specifics with injuries,” Brady said via Ryan Hannable of WEEI. “It just doesn’t make any sense. … It is football. There are a lot of guys dealing with a lot of things.”

The speculation goes back to the Patriots’ loss to the Titans on Nov. 11. New England called a trick play in which their 41-year-old quarterback caught a pass. He stumbled, got hit at the end of the play and a still shot of Brady’s left knee bending awkwardly has been passed around.

None of the speculation proves he’s hurt, nor does any screenshot of a tackle. And if you ask any NFL player, they’re all playing with some kind of ailment by Week 17. That’s how the game goes. Maybe it’s nothing more than normal wear and tear. But everyone is curious why Brady’s numbers are down across the board from his 2017 MVP season, whether it’s just him showing some age or something more. If Brady was injured, he likely wouldn’t tell the media about it. And neither would the Patriots.

If we figure Brady is probably a little less than honest with his “100 percent” claim, what happened on Sunday is great news for New England.

Nick Foles led a last-second Philadelphia Eagles comeback win over the Houston Texans, just after the Patriots had finished their win over the Bills. That means the Patriots clinch a first-round bye with a Week 17 win on Sunday at home against the New York Jets.

Anyone at this time of the season would like a week of rest. Maybe it’s a little more important to Brady and the Patriots, though nobody would ever say if that’s the case.

 

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