Tom Brady returns to practice after an injury scare

Oct 5, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after being sacked against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, was surprisingly missing in action for Tuesday’s practice. Shortly thereafter, reports surfaced that the 40-year-old signal caller had suffered a sprain of the AC Joint in his non-throwing shoulder. Patriots fans across the country collectively held their breath.

On Wednesday, Brady was spotted out on the field with his teammates for the start of practice. The wind picked up as an entire region took their first breath in about 12 hours. At this point, it does not look like Brady will miss the game against the Jets. Brady hasn’t missed a game due to injury since he blew out his knee in Week 1 of 2008 and sat out the entire season.

With that said, there is some cause for concern.

There is no mystery as to why Brady has popped up on the injury report with an actual shoulder injury. Anyone who has watched the Patriots through the first five weeks knows that the protection given to Brady has been far less than adequate. Through five games, Brady has been sacked 16 times or one more than he was all of last season (12 games). That is not even taking into account the hits that aren’t sacks. Some of those instances he gets the ball away or he throws game-winning touchdown passes to Brandin Cooks while falling backward with a defender in his face.

The point is, the Patriots are playing with fire if they allow Brady to continue to get hit at this pace. Last season, interim starter, Jimmy Garropollo, suffered a Grade 2 AC Joint sprain in his throwing shoulder which led him to miss the following two games as the Patriots prepared for Brady’s return.

Granted, Garropollo’s injury was to his throwing shoulder and Brady’s was to his nonthrowing shoulder, the team cannot expect to keep getting so fortunate. Right now, as the team is presently constituted, they are many flaws that are masked by Brady. As great as Brady has been through the first five weeks, the quarterbacks that have gone up against the Patriots defense have been better. Considering Brady is still playing like the best quarterback in the league, it’s incredibly worrisome for Patriots fans.

Most expect the defense to figure it out eventually, however, having a quarterback like Brady helps mask a lot of the current problems. Without him behind center this year, the Patriots are likely staring at one or two wins…maybe. That’s how good Brady has been. If he were to miss any significant time, especially before the defense can turn it around, then the Patriots could be in for a very long season.

Fortunately, this time, they dodged a bullet.

– Ian Glendon is the National Editor for cover32 and the Managing Editor for cover32/Patriots. He covers the NFL and New England Patriots. Like and follow on and Facebook.

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