October 28, 2013

Patriots Notebook: Brady’s swell, but in what manner?

By Mike Lowe mlowe@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — So is Tom Brady’s right hand hurt?

click image to enlarge

Quarterback Tom Brady’s right hand didn’t look so good on Sunday, and for much of the game his performance looked worse. But he says he’s fit to go next week against Pittsburgh.

The Associated Press

He said no. Bill Belichick said no.

But it was pretty swollen Sunday, both during and after the New England Patriots’ 27-17 come-from-behind victory over the struggling Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.

Brady is having the worst passing season of his career and on Saturday was photographed with two fingers on his right hand taped together. Sunday, CBS cameras continually showed his hand, which was quite swollen.

But after the game, Brady – not surprisingly, of course – said all was fine.

“It’s perfect,” he said, when asked about his right hand.

“Absolutely not,” he said, when asked if it was bothering him.

A reporter told him that the hand looked pretty swollen.

“I don’t know (how) anyone knows what the back of my right hand looks like, but it looks fine to me and it feels good,” he said. “I’ll be out there next week (against Pittsburgh), you don’t have to worry about that.”

Brady was 13-for-22 passing for 116 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

It was his lowest passing yardage total since Dec. 20, 2009, when he threw for 115 in a 17-10 win at Buffalo.

Belichick, who never talks about injuries anyway, dismissed the notion that Brady’s hand was an issue.

“No, I thought he had plenty of good throws today,” he said.

SPEAKING OF injuries, the Patriots’ offensive line took a hit Sunday. Right tackle Sebastian Vollmer went down with a right leg injury with 7:16 left in the second quarter while lead blocking for Stevan Ridley.

Vollmer got caught up in the bottom of a pile of players and immediately started screaming and pounding his fist into the ground. Marcus Cannon replaced Vollmer, who was carted off the field.

“It’s a tough loss, to see Sebastian get carted off like that,” said Belichick. “He’s been such a great player for us and such a great teammate.”

MARQUICE COLE and Devin McCourty combined for one of the best interceptions of the season early in the fourth quarter.

Ryan Tannehill threw deep to Mike Wallace, but McCourty came flashing over from his safety spot and leaped high to tip the ball back to Cole – like a volleyball setter. Cole, in for the injured Kyle Arrington, tip-toed along the sideline and caught the ball.

The two chalked it up to communication. Cole, trailing the play, was yelling for McCourty to tip it back to him.

“I don’t know if he heard me or not, but the ball just came down and I got my feet in bounds,” said Cole.

McCourty heard him. “That was all him,” said McCourty. “He just screamed, ‘Try to tip it back.’ And he was able to really keep his feet inbounds and make a great play.”

Cole added, “All the DBs are talking all day, every day. So that translates on the field being able to communicate in the beginning of plays.”

Cole has been released and re-signed by the Patriots three times since the start of the season. But doesn’t bother him. “I’m a man,” he said. “There’s always adversity in life.”

Belichick likes to have Cole around because of his versatility. He can play cornerback, nickel back, even safety, as well as special teams.

WHAT WAS Miami’s take on being shut out 24-0 in the second half?

“Hey, we didn’t make stops, we gave the ball away, we didn’t protect our quarterback and we got a field goal blocked,” said Coach Joe Philbin. “We didn’t play well.”

Mike Lowe can be reached at 791-6422 or at:mlowe@pressherald.comTwitter: MikeLowePPH


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