Tom Brady did not practice Thursday and is reportedly suffering from a hand injury that may or may not impact his performance in the AFC Championship on Sunday.
This could be a legitimate concern for New England, Bart Scott said, but it could also be Tom Brady up to his typical tricks.
“Brady always seems to have an injury around a big game,” Scott said on The DA Show. “I think that’s like a built-in excuse. It looked like he has maybe the splint on the thumb. So I don’t know if he maybe was throwing a pass and hit his thumb. But if it is his thumb, that is a cause for concern.”
Scott squared off against Brady many times in his career. He doesn’t question Brady’s greatness, but he does question his injury history.
“I mean, before it was the Achilles and it’s this and that,” Scott said. “Every year during the big game, it always seems to be an injury or a phantom injury or his shoulder was messed up and we just left it off the scouting report and things like that. I don’t know. But I know if it is the thumb and he has to wear a glove, that’s going to be an indication that it was a legitimate injury.”
But if Brady actually missed practice Thursday, that’s significant, right?
“Yeah, Thursday’s an important day,” Scott said. “It’s like third down, it’s situational football, short yardage, goal line – all the things that come up with situational football. So I’d be concerned about it a little bit, but if I’m Jacksonville, I’m going in there. I think this game is going to be a lot closer than people think.”
If it is, it will be because the the Jaguars defense gets to Brady early and often. DA asked Scott how the Jacksonville D compares to the great Ravens and Jets defenses he was a part of.
“They’re a little different because they’re a 4-3,” Scott said. “They get their pressure with their down four. They rarely blitz. But they do have lockdown corners like those teams that I was a part of.”
They also have swagger. Sort of.
“They’re young and stupid,” Scott said. “You look at (Jalen) Ramsey: ‘We’re going to win (this game)’ and all that stuff. He doesn’t know (what) he doesn’t know. This is a different game, and playing at Gillette Stadium is a tough place to play. There’s certain things that you have to do. You have to win the situations in New England.”
Especially the end of the first half and the beginning of the second.
“They want to try and score within the last two minutes of the half and then they get the ball back and score again,” Scott said of the Patriots. “That’s how they go up two scores. So it’s going to be important (for the Jaguars) – when they get down there – they’re going to have to be really good in the red zone. They’re going to have to get seven instead of three, and they’re going to have to make sure that they match the situations. They’re going to have to have a plan for Gronk – and it can’t be one plan. It has to be multiple plans because you have to continue to mix it up with him. If I’m Jacksonville, I’m tackling Gronk low all day. He’s had lower-body injuries. That gets him thinking (about) guys taking his legs out.”
And if the Jaguars get a chance to hit Brady’s thumb or throwing hand, Scott said, take it.
“Yeah, all that,” Scott said. “I’m trying to bang on it, step on it, bite it – I don’t care what I got to do. Listen, I’m surprised somebody hasn’t just hit Brady late and slammed him on his head, like, ‘I just can’t take it no more. Fine me. Whatever.’ They might kick you out the league, though, if you hurt Brady. (You’d get) a lifetime suspension.”