Tom Brady has a boo-boo. Well, a bit more than that: Brady’s right hand — the one he throws with — was wrapped up earlier this week after he injured it while demolishing Miami’s defense on Sunday.
Will it impact his play on Thursday night at Philadelphia?
In fact, the joke going around the league is that Brady could lead the Buccaneers to victory as a lefty.
It's unwise to downplay injuries to quarterbacks' throwing arms or hands, of course. But it's even more foolish to doubt the seven-time Super Bowl champion.
“It’s a little sore but I expected it to be,” Brady says. “We signed up for a contact sport. You get different bumps and bruises throughout the year and we’ll just deal with it the best we can. This bump and bruise happens to be on my hand. Just trying to be preventive and precautious, be smart. It’s less than 48 hours since it happened so it’s not like it’s had five days, but again I feel confident I’ll be able to go out there and do what I need to do.”
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni is emphasizing exactly that: Do your job.
“That’s been our message right from the beginning,” he stressed. “Regardless of who we’re playing, is play within yourself, play within your game.”
Tampa Bay, ranked third in the AP Pro32, is a 7-point favorite at No. 23 Philadelphia, according to FanDuel SportsBook. Pro Picks trusts the 44-year-old quarterback so much it considered making the Bucs its Best Bet.
KNOCKOUT POOL: The Patriots scared us before rallying against Houston. Hopefully it's a smoother ride this week with TAMPA BAY.
No. 1 (tie) Buffalo (minus 4 1-2) at No. 11 Tennessee, Monday night
The Bills proved themselves at Kansas City in prime time. They'll continue doing so.
BEST BET: BILLS, 33-23
No. 1 (tie) Arizona (plus 3) at No. 9 Cleveland
Soon, the Cardinals will lose. But the Browns are so banged up now.
UPSET SPECIAL: CARDINALS, 22-20
No. 5 Los Angeles Chargers (plus 3 1-2) at No. 6 Baltimore
It's becoming impossible to pick against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. It will be close, though.
No. 15 Las Vegas (plus 3) at No. 17 Denver
Just a feeling the Raiders will respond with a strong performance.
No. 10 Kansas City (minus 6½ ) at No. 24 Washington
It's time for the Chiefs to find their mojo, and Washington's defense could accommodate them.
No. 13 Cincinnati (minus 3½) at No. 31 Detroit
At some point, Lady Luck will decide she likes the Lions. Not this weekend.
No. 8 Green Bay (minus 4½) at No. 16 Chicago
The Packers could almost put away the division with a win here.
No. 18 (tie) Minnesota (plus 1 1-2) at No. 14 Carolina
Minnesota makes things more exciting than they should be.
No. 7 Dallas (minus 4) at No. 20 New England
Jerry Jones' voice isn't the only one mentioning Super Bowl chances for his team.
No. 4 Los Angeles Rams (minus 10½) at No. 28 New York Giants
Another potential Best Bet, especially with New York so ravaged by injuries
No. 29 Houston (plus 10) at No. 25 Indianapolis
Houston doesn’t have the playmakers to threaten the disappointing Colts.
No. 21 Seattle (plus 4 1-2) at No. 22 Pittsburgh
Don't quite believe the Steelers have turned a corner, but they should win here.
No. 27 Miami (minus 3½) vs. No. 32 Jacksonville at London
Two more bad teams that could spoil England's taste for the NFL.
Last Week: Straight up: 12-4. Against spread: 8-8.
Season: Straight up: 49-31. Against spread: 42-36-2.
Best Bet: Straight up: 4-1. Against spread: 4-1.
Upset Special: Straight up: 5-0. Against spread: 5-0.