Brady on the injury he suffered Sunday: 'I've had worse'

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Brady on the injury he suffered Sunday: 'I've had worse'

One day after suffering what appeared to be an ankle injury in the second quarter of New England's loss to Miami on Sunday, 20-10, Tom Brady told WEEI's Dennis and Callahan Show with Kirk Minihane that he was "all right."

"I’m doing all right," he said. "I’m doing all right. We’ll see how it goes this week. Sure there will be some treatment, as always. A lot of guys are banged up. Just part of football season."

Brady said that what he was dealing with wasn't anything markedly worse than plenty of other injuries he's suffered over the course of his career. The only injury that has forced Brady to miss any significant amount of time in his career was when he tore his ACL in the season-opener of the 2008 campaign. He also suffered an ankle injury in the AFC Championship Game in 2001.  

"I’ve had worse," Brady said on Monday morning. "I’ve had plenty of worse injuries than this one."

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Brady underwent an MRI on the ankle that revealed a sprain but no breaks, no fractures and he's expected to be ready for the Patriots playoff opener in Foxboro Jan. 16. 

In the WEEI interview, as Brady tried to downplay the ailment, he explained that there wasn't anything more important to him at the moment than feeling close to 100 percent. 

"Suh’s a big guy," Brady said. "He just came down on the back of me. Obviously however big he is — 300 pounds — he just kind of collapses on the back of your leg, there’s going to be some residual damage to that. It’s part of football.

"I’ll just work hard to get the right treatment. I’ve always dealt with injuries. I’m very confident I know how to deal with injuries. Believe me, I’ll be doing everything I can to be out there. There’s nothing else in my life that’s a priority at this point other than getting to feel like I’m a hundred percent."

Brady was asked if he would have been able to play had the Patriots been forced to compete this weekend. Thankfully, Brady replied, he doesn't have to worry about that. 

"I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll just say I’m glad we have a week off," he said. "That obviously helps. I wanted to stay in there and play yesterday and see if I could do some stuff to help our team. We just couldn’t make enough plays. I feel like I’ve said that a lot the last six weeks, but we’re going to have to make more plays offensively if we want to keep advancing. It’s a challenge. You get every team’s best effort. They game-plan us. They’re trying to slow the things down that we do well. We’re going to have to in a way kind of reinvent how he [win], and do the things that we need to do to win the game."

Report: Brady expected to play Saturday night vs. Texans, but not Gronk

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Report: Brady expected to play Saturday night vs. Texans, but not Gronk

Tom Brady and other Patriots starters are expected to make their preseason debuts Saturday in the second preseason game vs. the Texans in Houston, but Rob Gronkowski won't play, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports.

Gronkowski, recovering from back surgery performed late last season, hasn't played in a preseason game since 2012. 

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Brady and new acquisitions Brandin Cooks at wide receiver and Mike Gillislee at running back, along with wide receiver Julian Edelman and other starters, did not play in the Patriots' preseason opener against the Jaguars last week in Foxboro. The Patriots and Texans have been conducting joint practices at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia and Howe reports the plan all week has been to have the starters participate in the game Saturday night.

Of course, Bill Belichick reserves the right to change those plans. 

The Pats will return to the site of their last victory, NRG Stadium in Houston, where New England won Super Bowl 51 over the Falcons in February, to play the Texans. 

Freeney among available options if Patriots looking for pass-rush help

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Freeney among available options if Patriots looking for pass-rush help

For years, the Patriots have schemed to keep Dwight Freeney away from Tom Brady. Might they be interested in making him Brady's teammate?

With the news coming down on Friday that rookie third-round pick Derek Rivers may have suffered a season-ending knee injury, it was just the latest hit to an edge group that was already hurting for numbers.

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The Patriots lost Rob Ninkovich to retirement early in training camp. They lost rookie defensive end Deatrich Wise for a to-be-determined period of time to a head injury suffered during last week's preseason game with the Jaguars. They lost Shea McClellin to an apparent injury earlier this month that has kept him out for almost two weeks.

So what's next? Here are some of the options . . .

IMMEDIATE HELP FROM OUTSIDE THE ORGANIZATION

Bill Belichick and his staff could look outside the organization for help right away via free agency or trade. Freeney, who recorded seven quarterback hurries and a sack in Super Bowl LI, is available as a free agent. Former Dolphins, Bills and Texans defensive end Mario Williams -- who Belichick and director of player personnel Nick Caserio have happily referred to as "Big M" over the years -- is also without a team at the moment. Both of those players, 37 and 32 years old, respectively, could serve as stop-gap options. ESPN's Mike Reiss noted on Friday that perhaps Ninkovich could come out of retirement to help the club. 

Then there's the possibility of the trade. The Patriots are annually among the league's most aggressive teams in terms of looking for deals to help their roster, and this year figures to be no different. They have plenty in the way of draft capital if they decide to continue their recent trend of parting ways with picks for proven players in return. There are also valuable pieces on their roster who could end up elsewhere if the return is right. Of those, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and corner Malcolm Butler -- both in contract years -- would figure to be among their most valuable potential trade chips.

TAKE A WAIT-AND-SEE APPROACH

With only one cutdown deadline this year -- teams will have their rosters trimmed from 90 players to 53 following the last week of the preseason -- chaos figures to reign as teams scour the waiver wire for both active-roster and practice-squad help. Clubs could steadily make their releases in the days leading up to the deadline, but the expectation is that there will still be a tsunami of cuts that take place in a very short span. The Patriots are already preparing for the well over 1,000 players who will eventually become available, taking an all-hands-on-deck approach in the scouting and personnel departments. Perhaps as things get hectic right around the deadline, capable edge help will become available. If it does, don't be surprsied to see the Patriots pounce. 

GO WITH WHAT THEY HAVE

The Patriots could choose to simply roll with what's on the roster for 2017. Their front-seven is loaded with versatile defensive linemen and linebackers who can play a variety of positions. Linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Harvey Langi have seen time on the edge in recent practices. Trey Flowers should be a staple on the edge when he's not being used as an interior rusher. Lawrence Guy is more of an interior force and seems to be ideally used as a five-technique, but he played all along the defensive line in Baltimore and could have some positional versatility in New England. Kony Ealy has started to show some things as a pass-rusher of late. And undrafted rookie defensive lineman Adam Butler -- who saw time everywhere from nose tackle to stand-up edge-rusher during training camp -- is an intriguing young prospect. 

The Patriots situation on the edge is far from ideal at the moment, and they could try to remedy their issues quickly with some outside help. But if they choose to stand pat, they do have options.