The injuries of quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski are the two big concerns of the New England Patriots ahead of the 52nd edition of the Super Bowl on Sunday at the U.S. Bank Stadium of Minneapolis.
But both players, although they acknowledge that they are not yet recovered, hope that they can arrive in good condition to the match in which they will look for the sixth trophy Vince Lombardi of their history.
Brady, 40, said that the wound that occurred in the right hand two weeks ago, is already improving and although it is not yet one hundred percent cured if it can work without problems with the rest of the teammates, although with a glove special protection.
“I think I’m not where I’d like to be, but we’re on the right track and I’m sure there will be no problems on Sunday,” said Brady. “All the medical team and assistants have done a great job in the recovery work.”
While the Eagles, who will be the rivals of the Patriots, reiterated that they are not worried about Brady’s right hand or taking away their sleep.
In his first two appearances with the press ahead of Super Bowl LII, Brady covered his hand with a glove, as he has done since he suffered a previous cut to the AFC Championship Game, but, the situation does not seem to worry the Eagles.
“We have nothing to do with that, it’s not a distraction or anything,” said Eagles defensive end Beau Allen. “We have to focus on our work because we know that Brady, hurt or not, is going to give us a lot of problems.”
Brady’s right hand has been the subject of debate from days before the AFC Final, but the Eagles claim that with or without injury, the Patriots’ passer is just as dangerous.
The Patriots’ passer got hurt in a training session on January 17, on a ball exchange with fellow running back Rex Burkhead and who needed the application of 12 stitches.
Either way, Brady completed 26 of 38 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns in the win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Final that won 24-20.
For his part, Gronkowski spoke with reporters for the first time since being diagnosed with a concussion in the AFC Championship Game and seemed confident that he will play Sunday in Super Bowl LII.
The Patriots also trust that there is time for them to recover, although they are still under concussion protocol.
“I hope (to be discharged) for tomorrow, we’ll see what happens and what the doctors say, I’m not the one to decide that I’m out of protocol, that’s up to the doctors,” said Gronkowski. “I feel good in general.”
Gronkowski was injured when he received a hard blow to the head from Jaguars safety Barry Church in the second quarter of the AFC final match played on 21 January.
The tight end of the Patriots spoke after participating in an Xbox One duel with former Patriots and current Eagles player, LeGarrette Blount, in the Xbox Live Sessions: Super Bowl Edition, prior to Super Bowl LII.
Blount beat Gronkowski 33-13, but tight end said that did not mean anything special.
“The most important thing is that (LeGarrette) is a good friend, we had a lot of fun,” said Gronkowski. “Everything will be fine on Sunday and the team that does the best things on the field will win and I hope to participate.”