New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is playing in Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars despite sources telling ESPN's Adam Schefter that his hand was cut during a handoff to running back Rex Burkhead at Wednesday's practice and required stitches.
The injury did not cause any ligament damage, bone breaks or dislocated fingers, sources confirmed to ESPN. The cut did require more than 10 stitches and is on the inside part of his hand, near his thumb, a source told ESPN's Mike Reiss, and there was significant blood.
"It was just a very fluke injury," Brady told Westwood One Sunday. "It was something that's happened a lot of times over the course of my career and there was a collision in practice and, you know, my hand suffered a bit of an injury, but hopefully I can go out there and still be really effective and we'll see what I can do today."
Brady hadn't lost any intensity due to the injury. Running onto the field Sunday, he yelled at a cameraman "get the f--- outta the way!"
Brady had a glove on his left hand and black tape on his right hand Sunday.
Brady has preferred not to wear gloves during games, but he also hasn't had to deal with an injury like this.
New England owner Robert Kraft, in an interview that aired on "Patriots All Access" on WBZ-TV on Saturday night, was asked if his heart skipped a beat when he was first notified of the quarterback's injury.
"More than my heart," he said. "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 said he practiced in full on Friday, though he was listed as a limited participant on the injury report.
Asked how his injured right hand was feeling and whether he threw any footballs Friday, Brady said: "I'm not talking about that."
But those who watched him were relieved and impressed, with one source saying, "He threw the ball all over the yard."
Burkhead, meanwhile, will play Sunday after missing the past three games with a knee injury he suffered in Week 15 of the regular season against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Burkhead is expected to be a regular part of New England's running back rotation against the Jaguars.
Fellow running back Mike Gillislee, meanwhile, again was inactive due to a knee injury that is not sufficiently recovered.
ESPN's Mike Reiss and Dianna Russini contributed to this report.