The appendage, which mysteriously showed up on the injury report following a 34-14 delousing at the hands of the Cleveland Browns in Week 9, seems to have struck again. It's the second straight season in which a broken bone or bones has been used as an explanation for Brady's struggles following an early -- and unforeseen -- exit from the playoffs.
Curran makes a good point. Potentially broken ribs didn't deter Brady from getting the Patriots to the playoffs in 2009, and the broken foot didn't slow him down until the playoffs in 2010. Brady's foot originally appeared on the injury report during the week leading up to the Steelers game, and since that point, all he did was throw for 22 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Before the Patriots played the Bills in the second-to-last game of the regular season, my buddy Mary Paoletti told me in a "get this" tone that a friend of a friend knew a doctor that said Brady's foot was fractured.
After that game, someone close to the action on the field said Brady seemed to be slow making his way back to the huddle at times and laboring on his foot.
The point? His foot's been hurting him for a while. Fractured, broken, sprained, tender, sore; what's the difference? He's throwing 22 touchdown passes, no picks and not missing a snap, all I care about is how his foot affects his performance and availability. Clearly it was affecting neither.
It's a sure thing that TB12 won't use it as an excuse, but it's a surer thing that he probably wishes he could.