Tom Brady downplayed the elbow injury that had him showing up on the Patriots injury report the past few weeks - but not this week ahead of the key matchup Saturday against the Buffalo Bills in Foxboro.
In an interview on Westwood One with Jim Gray that aired at halftime of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Houston Texans game Saturday afternoon, Brady said injuries hadn't limited his practice time. In fact, the 42-year-old quarterback thought he's had more practice reps this year than in the recent past.
"Feeling really good, especially going into the 15th game," Brady told Gray. "I think I've actually practiced more this year than I have in most of the previous years."
Earlier Saturday, Mike Giardi of the NFL Network said Brady had been dealing with tennis elbow, but Brady dismissed the notion from Gray that after the season he would admit to having a significant injury in his throwing arm.
"I think some things get blown out of proportion and every player in the NFL deals with bumps and bruises and for me, this is one of the better years I've been feeling so I'm really happy about that."
Brady was also asked about the all-time touchdown pass record set by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees this week and the fact that at 538 to Brees' record 541 (Peyton Manning has 539), Brady could catch or surpass the 40-year-old Saints QB with a big performance on Saturday.
Brady said the individual records really reflect the work of a team.
"It's a great credit - I said this the other week - to what so many of my teammates and coaches have accomplished. There's nothing that can be accomplished as an individual in this sport...," Brady said. "I can't run routes, I don't catch passes, I don't block. I can just do my job. When you accomplish great feats over a long period of time, it's just so many people are deserving of the credit."
And the Patriots QB also touched on his jersey that he sent to Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon this week. Brady, from San Mateo, Calif., mentioned the Bay Area connection the two share.
"He grew up where I grew up [Mixon is from Oakley, Calif., near San Franciscso]...I'm just happy to be able to reciprocate some generosity."
"I was a young player who looked up to a lot of guys older than me and I got a chance to meet them," Brady said. "They were the ones that paved the way. They're the ones that set great examples. I want to do the same thing for the young players now that I've become an older player."