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Patriots' Belichick tight-lipped on Brady injury

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The Sports Xchange
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick walks the sideline before calling a timeout during a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in December. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick walks the sideline before calling a timeout during a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in December. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick wasn't too forthcoming in regard to the status of quarterback Tom Brady heading into Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Belichick repeatedly told reporters on Friday that the Patriots are "going to get ready for Jacksonville" and was rather vague when specific questions regarding Brady's right hand injury were posed.

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For instance, when asked how Brady's status complicates the game plan, Belichick said, "I don't know." A follow-up question was answered by Belichick with a similar response.

"I don't know. We'll see," he said.

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Belichick also dismissed giving an updated report on Brady.

"We gave out the injury report yesterday and we'll update it today," he said.

Brady did not participate in practice Thursday because of the right hand injury he sustained on Wednesday.

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Brady was present at the start of Thursday's practice session, one day after the Boston Herald reported that he jammed his throwing hand during practice after someone accidentally ran into him. X-rays showed no structural damage.

Brady wore red gloves on both hands during Thursday's early session, but the two-time NFL MVP did not throw a pass during the 15 minutes allotted for reporters to view practice.

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He did not participate in the rest of practice, according to the injury report, which leaves open the question of how effective Brady will be if he plays on Sunday.

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New England has won five Super Bowl titles with Brady as starter. He won his fourth Super Bowl MVP award last season, rallying the Patriots from a 25-point second-half deficit in a 34-28 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Brady posted his 26th postseason victory last week, recorded his 13th 300-yard postseason passing game -- extending his NFL record for both -- and also broke a tie with Joe Montana to become the all-time leader with 10 three-TD playoff games.

Journeyman Brian Hoyer, signed to a three-year contract on Nov. 1 after he was released by the San Francisco 49ers, is Brady's backup.

"Brian does a great job for us -- works hard, practices hard. He does a good job," Belichick said of Hoyer, who was re-acquired after the Patriots sent backup Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers. Garoppolo won all five of his starts in San Francisco.

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When asked if he had any regrets about trading for Garoppolo in light of Brady's injury, Belichick reiterated a familiar line.

"We're getting ready for Jacksonville," he said.

Hoyer, 32, served as Brady's backup from 2009 to 2011 before making stops with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2012), Arizona Cardinals (2012), Cleveland Browns (2013-14), Houston Texans (2015), Chicago Bears (2016) and 49ers (2017).

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