Had it not been the Patriots and had it not been Tom Brady, the front-runner for MVP, it would have been just a cut—a bizarre minor injury on a QB's throwing hand, a bullet point at the bottom of an AP story, quickly forgotten. Instead, we got days of drama.
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 17, 12:38 P.M. EST
Brady stretches at practice in Foxborough, hands dangling, ungloved, at his sides.
New England announces, "Tom Brady is with our medical staff and will not be available to the media today."
The Boston Herald: Brady was run into at practice; The Boston Globe, later: He was hurt making a handoff.
THURSDAY, 1:07 P.M.
Brady is spotted at practice wearing two red gloves. Photographic forensic experts go to work.
Teammates say Brady "looked good" in practice; he doesn't speak. Later, reporters learn the QB did not participate.
FRIDAY, 9:13 A.M.
Belichick, asked if Brady will be a game-time decision: "Today's Friday." WBZ-FM reports that Brady got four stitches.
SATURDAY, 8:13 A.M.
The NFL Network reports that RB Rex Burkhead cut Brady. Later, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports the QB got 10 stitches.
SUNDAY, 2:15 P.M.
Brady emerges for warmups with a piece of black tape wrapped on his ungloved throwing hand.
Brady hits Danny Amendola in the back of the end zone for the AFC-title-winning touchdown.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that, actually, it was 12 stitches.