As NFL Media’s Mike Giardi reported prior to the Patriots’ big Week 16 win over the Bills on Saturday, Brady has a right elbow injury that’s called “tennis elbow.” If you’re wondering what that is, it’s a degenerative process in the tendons at the elbow responsible for cocking the wrist back.
Here is an explanation from Giardi:
If you’re looking for a more in-depth explanation regarding what “tennis elbow” is, here is one from Dr. Jessica Flynn, a sports medicine specialist at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center who contributes to Boston Sports Journal when it comes to sports player’s injuries.
“These tendons allow the athlete to extend or cock back the wrist and supinate the forearm (rotate the palm up). Over time, the tendons can develop tiny micro-tears from repetitive work (throwing) and the area around the bony attachment gets inflamed. Patients I see complain that they can’t lift a jug of milk or even a cup off coffee without pain, it hurts to shake hands or grip.
“The treatment? Immobilize the wrist. … I know, it’s weird for an elbow issue to be treated with a wrist brace, but remember those tendons are under stress when they’re moving the wrist. Therapy, pliability work on the muscles that attach to those tendons and TIME. Lots of patients want to hurry things up with a steroid injection, but I always try to avoid it. Steroids stop the healing process. The body needs to make a big deal about an injury like this, with swelling and irritation, to get growth factors to the area to fix the problem for good. Steroid injections stop that process.”
Brady Puts on Heroic Performance Despite ‘Tennis Elbow’
Obviously, Brady put the issue of his elbow injury to rest for at least one week by putting on arguably his best performance of the season in the Patriots’ 24-17 victory over the Bills. Not only did he lead a fourth quarter comeback, he led New England to another AFC East title — their 11th consecutive division title, the most in NFL history.
During the victory, he went 26-of-33 (78.8 percent completion rate) for 271 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions and a 111.0 quarterback rating. Not only are those numbers impressive — especially for someone who is 42 years of age — but his completion rate was the highest of the season in a single game and his quarterback rating was at its highest since Week 3.
Tom Brady Downplays Elbow Injury
Needless to say, despite these new details emerging regarding Brady’s elbow injury, the veteran quarterback downplayed the ailment in the postgame press conference — despite the fact he was sporting an ice wrap around his right throwing elbow.
Via Dakota Randall of NESN:
“I feel good,” Brady said. “This is a new injury, this isn’t the old elbow. So, I’ll be fine. “Thank you guys, appreciate your concern.”
Considering Brady looked nearly flawless in the Patriots’ latest victory, the chatter around the severity of his elbow injury should subside — for the time being, at least.
While the Patriots wrapped up the division title, they’re still playing for the No. 2 seed as they’ll look to clinch a first-round bye with a win over the Miami Dolphins at home in Week 17.