New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady returned to practice on Thursday, but will not speak to the media as planned.
Brady reportedly jammed his throwing hand at practice when a player accidentally ran into him, according to the Boston Herald. X-rays showed no structural damage, and barring anything unexpected, Brady is expected to play in Sunday's AFC title game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Brady was spotted at practice on Thursday wearing gloves, and was originally scheduled to speak at 3:30 p.m. But the team announced around 2:30 p.m. that he would address the media on Friday instead.
It was the second straight day that the team had canceled Brady's scheduled session with the media.
Brady was one of four players scheduled to speak to the media on Wednesday, along with head coach Bill Belichick. But after tight end Rob Gronkowski, safety Devin McCourty, special teams star Matthew Slater and Belichick had all finished at the podium, there was no Brady.
Just as Belichick was finishing up his remarks, the Patriots tweeted a message, saying, "Tom Brady is with our medical staff and will not be available to the media today."
The team's official injury report released later Wednesday afternoon said Brady was a limited participant at practice due to a right hand injury. Soon after, media reports started surfacing with more details on Brady's injury, including the fact that it happened at Wednesday's practice.
Brady has shown up on the injury report several times throughout the season with various shoulder and Achilles injuries.
Patriots fans told NBC10 Boston they're worried about the injury, but aren't panicking... yet.
"I think they will win even with his injury," said Bruce Storer of Foxboro. "I think our offense is just too big for their defense."
"It's a huge concern," added Steve Haynes of Norfolk. "I mean without him, who are our quarterbacks now?"
"He has three or four days to heal up here," said Bob Carey of Foxboro. "So I wouldn't be concerned at this point unless we find something more drastic."
The third-seeded Jaguars will face the top-seeded Patriots on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Gillette Stadium after defeating the favored Pittsburgh Steelers 45-42 last weekend. The Patriots punched their ticket to the title game with a 35-14 drubbing of the Tennessee Titans.
The Jaguars are playing in the conference title game for just the third time in franchise history, and first since losing to Tennessee during the 1999 season. Jacksonville is also one of four franchises to never play in the Super Bowl.
The Patriots have made it to the AFC championship game for seven straight seasons. New England has advanced to the Super Bowl in three of the past six years.