Stemming from a tip from the Jacksonville Jaguars training staff, the NFL is looking into whether Brady’s hand injury before the AFC championship broke League guidelines. In last week’s practice, a collision during a hand-off sliced Brady’s throwing hand, which required 12 stitches. A bandage protected the stitches during Sunday’s game, but it may have covered up something deeper.
Already nicknamed “Bengashi,” conspiracy theories are swirling about the injury and its aftermath. Jacksonville’s Head Athletic Trainer, Scott Trulock, suspects blood loss from the wound lowered Brady’s blood pressure at game time below NFL standards. Though there was no indication of any non-standard BP on the team’s injury reports, teams have suspected New England of omitting important information before. The Patriots have declined to comment. Referees—also accused of calling the game in New England’s favor—failed to administer blood pressure tests prior to the game or at halftime.
The NFL designs blood pressure requirements to ensure no team has an unfair advantage. Lower blood pressure reduces strain on the optical nerve, thereby improving eyesight. In a high-stress environment, sharpened vision could have afforded Brady a better grip on the situation. “Plus he’d have a lower risk of a heart disease or stroke,” protested Trulock, “which are real risks at his age.”