New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady missed all of Wednesday's practice, setting off some alarms in New England, but it was all a part of a schedule he currently is on in order to make sure his injured left shoulder continues to heal properly.
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Brady sprained the acromioclavicular joint (AC joint) in his left shoulder against the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 24, according to sources with knowledge of the injury, but he hasn't missed any game time as a result of the injury. He was held out of practice that week and during the bye week, but one source said his condition gradually has improved.
The purpose of the rest is to prevent any further unnecessary inflammation in the shoulder, and the management of Brady's shoulder issue at this point is a matter of pain control.
The sprain, by definition, is a low-grade separation, which normally entails a six-week process to return to full strength, so it's something the Patriots also would have to monitor and manage going forward should they beat the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday and advance to the Super Bowl.
The Patriots listed 14 players as questionable for the game in Friday's injury report, including tight end Aaron Hernandez (concussion), receiver Wes Welker (knee), receiver Deion Branch (knee) and safety Patrick Chung (knee). Brady was not included in the report.