ESPN.com's Mike Reiss reported Brady required more than 10 stitches to his thumb after he hit it on the helmet of running back Rex Burkhead during Wednesday's practice. It was described as a "bloody scene" by those who saw what happened.
Brady, 40, sat out Thursday's practice and was listed as a limited participant Friday. He will play against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, though it's expected he will wear a glove on his throwing hand.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft described his reaction when asked if his heart skipped a beat when he heard of Brady's injury.
"More than my heart," Kraft said on WBZ-TV (h/t ESPN.com). "I actually was in Florida for a day and a half, and I was out at a restaurant and got a call from my favorite quarterback. FaceTime. Saw his situation. So then I got up here quickly to see firsthand. I saw him throw a few out at practice, and it made me feel a lot better. But it's still a challenge. It was an unfortunate force majeure item. So now we hope for the best. He's a real competitor, as we all know.
"We have a pretty good, balanced team. Sometimes these issues help you bring the team together, too."
Brady and coach Bill Belichick have been mum on the injury, as is typical for the Patriots. But Brady didn't suffer ligament damage or a fracture, per Michael Felger of 98.5 The Sports Hub (via James Stewart of 98.5 The Sports Hub), so he should be nearly full strength Sunday.
The Jaguars enter the conference championship game with the NFL's best defense, led by a ferocious front-four pass rush and an elite secondary spearheaded by cornerback Jalen Ramsey. The unit could be a perfect-storm nightmare for Brady, who has struggled against pass rushes that don't need to blitz.
Jacksonville nonetheless enters as a 7.5-point underdog, per OddsShark, so the Jags will hope the glove helps throw off Brady.