The workload of a Pro Bowl season looks to be taking its toll on Tom Brady.
The New England Patriots quarterback has a left shoulder injury that reportedly required X-rays.
Brady was on the field for stretching and agility drills with teammates in sweatpants and helmets in the part of practice open to the media Thursday. He even threw some passes, according to multiple media outlets, but Brady was listed on Thursday's report as having participated on a limited basis with the shoulder injury.
He was one of 17 Patriots listed as participating on a limited basis, meaning a player took part in fewer than 100 percent of his normal repetitions.
The injury is not considered severe enough to prevent him from playing Sunday against Buffalo, but it is causing Brady discomfort. Brady did miss practice on Wednesday, though the team said that the absence was for non-injury related reasons.
A couple of plays against the Miami Dolphins Saturday could have resulted in the injury. Brady took a shot to the shoulder on a quarterback sneak and also scrambled and fell hard on the shoulder. After the victory, Brady dressed slowly at his locker and seemed to be cautious moving the joint.
One report, from Comcast SportsNet, indicated that Brady had X-rays after the game to check for a separation and was told he was "all set."
Patriots spokesman Stacey James said Thursday: "If there was an injury then it would be on the injury report."
He's third in the league in passer rating, completion percentage and touchdowns behing Brees and Aaron Rodgers in what could be the greatest quarterback season in NFL history.
Still Brady was hit behind the line of scrimmage a season-high eight times Saturday. He's been hit 65 times this season.
It's not the first time the Patriots have been cautious with Brady practicing late in the season. Brady did attend his regular Wednesday news conference, as well as a sitdown interview with ESPN's Chris Berman.
If he was hurting, he hid it well. He said his focus was strictly on the Bills, who defeated the Patriots in the third week of the season when Brady threw four interceptions (two tipped passes).
That seems like a lifetime ago, the Patriots currently on a seven-game winning streak, a run in which Brady has been intercepted just once while throwing 16 touchdown passes. The reduction in turnovers has been a main reason for the team's success.
"A big part of that is Brady," said former NFL quarterback Rich Gannon, who as a CBS analyst has worked two Patriots games this season. "He's the maestro, the guy who makes it all go with his ability to change protections and get them in the right plays, the right runs, and handle the blitzes. He's just so adept at that."
Patriots coach Bill Belichick has annually lauded Brady's work in that area.
"He gets a lot of things thrown at him coverage-wise and pressure, and things like that," Belichick said Wednesday, calling Brady one of the team's hardest-working players. "He does a good job of managing the game, he's well prepared, and he's able to perform well under pressure. We've seen him do it many times before, but he's certainly done a good job of it this year."
Information from ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss and The Associated Press was used in this report.