Tom Brady took the day off on Wednesday, but he wasn't kicking up his feet. Rather, the Patriots star quarterback was trying to garner as much strength as possible before facing the biggest challenge of the season.
The Patriots have landed in the AFC Championship game, a privileged fact considering this team was not mandated to beat one team above .500 this season.
CBS Sports' Will Brinson reports Brady sat out practice on Wednesday, just like fellow playoff quarterback Eli Manning did. While the Giants' QB had a stomach bug, Brady was still healing from a shoulder injury.
Nothing will be taken for granted this weekend and that is more reason for Brady to rest rather than continue to work and play on a lingering shoulder issue.
Brinson cuts to the chase:
So it's not like Brady's skipping because he considers this game a bye. (Duh.) Instead, it's really more about making sure his shoulder, which bothered him late in the season, is totally rested and healthy heading into Sunday's game.
Not much makes sense in modern football. It used to take defensive measures just to make your way into the playoffs. The times, they have gone and changed.
Tom Brady and other maestros in the pocket have made it possible for teams with glaring defensive weaknesses to make it to the Super Bowl. The Patriots are 31st on passing defense, but have one of the best offenses in the business.
One doesn't just cancel the other out, it is the sole reason the Patriots are still alive right now. That fact is not lost on New England, which is precisely why they need Tom Brady to be as close to full health as possible.
The Ravens defense, as Brady will testify, is the biggest challenge the Patriots have faced all year. It's time to take a deep breath and make sure all the weapons are at the ready.
Nothing will be solved from extra reps. Only rest and preparation can save Tom Brady and the Patriots from a tough defense that will be gunning to stifle a prolific passing game.
Sometimes, precaution can be the better option heading into what will be a nasty affair.