Author Jeff Benedict explores the greatest contemporary sports dynasty of our time, the New England Patriots, in his upcoming book “The Dynasty,” which releases Tuesday. This excerpt is from Chapter 42, “Threading the Needle,” which highlights QB Tom Brady’s hand injury leading into the Jan. 21, 2018, AFC Championship game.
On the Wednesday before the AFC Championship game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Patriots were practicing outside in the bitter cold. On a routine play, Brady handed the ball off to running back Rex Burkhead. In the exchange, the ball jammed back into Brady’s thumb, hyperextending it with such force that the skin at the base of the thumb split open. With blood gushing, Brady let out a yell and rushed off the field, clutching his hand. Burkhead and his teammates looked on in stunned silence.
Minutes later, Dr. Matthew Leibman’s cell phone rang. Leibman was the hand and wrist surgeon for the Patriots, Red Sox, and Bruins. He was having lunch outside Boston when Patriots assistant trainer Joe Van Allen reached him.
Van Allen was frantic. “Matt, we need you at the stadium right now,” he said. “Brady hurt his hand. It’s bad. It’s bleeding.”
“What happened?” Leibman said…
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From “The Dynasty” by Jeff Benedict. Copyright © 2020 by Rockspring Media, LLC.