Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was elusive when asked directly about the nature of the injuries he suffered and played through this season.
Of course, it's standard procedure with the Patriots to disclose as little as possible when it comes to specific injuries. Published reports had him playing with a broken ring finger on his right hand as well as either cracked or broken ribs, although Boston.com colummnist Christopher L. Gasper reported in his story on Brady in Sunday's Globe that "broken" and "cracked" ribs are basically the same thing, it's really a question of the severity of the break.
But with the season over and no next opponent to possibly tip off, Brady was asked for details. He took the company line.
"I think we all deal with injuries, we really do. There's not a guy in that locker room that's not banged up, and we all just play through it," Brady said. "That's part of playing football. It's a physical game and to see guys like Aik (receiver Sam Aiken, injured late in the fourth quarter) go down today and hurt himself like that, I mean that's scary stuff, so when I'm able walk off the field -- something I didn't do last year -- I think that's really a blessing for all of us."
Brady said most players have injury issues they deal with during the week but it's not enough to prevent them from playing on Sundays.
However, when asked specifically about whether he had broken ribs, he made his best dodge of the day.
"I don't want to get into all that," Brady said. "Whatever it is, we've got to all overcome it. It certainly didn't keep us from playing, whatever my injuries are."
Injuries, and recovering from them, have been a storyline with Brady all season. He was named the AFC Comeback Player of the Year -- making it through all 16 games -- after missing the 2008 season because of a devastating knee injury suffered in the first quarter of the first game.
"I was able to play 16 games, and that's something I love to do," Brady said. "The only way a quarterback can display toughness is to be out there. We don't hit anybody, we don't block or any of that stuff, and I want the team to be able to rely on me and count on me, whether it's in practice or games."
The he added:
"You know, I think injuries are a bunch of BS. When you play, you play, and if you can't play, you can't play. But when you're out there playing, you've got to play at a level the team expects you to play," Brady said.