Quarterback Tom Brady’s gimpy right ankle is not an issue — not an official issue, at least.
The New England Patriots did not include the NFL’s Most Valuable Player on the Super Bowl XLII injury report that they were required to issue on Wednesday. Brady fully participated in a full-pads practice at Sun Devil Stadium.
Pool reporter Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune indicated Brady did not have the outside of his shoe taped, and he was not limping noticeably.
Asked how Brady moved during the workout, New England coach Bill Belichick said, “Everybody practiced. They’re fine.”
However, Brady’s right shoulder was listed on the report, as it has been most of the season.
Reserve wide receiver Jabar Gaffney’s participation in practice was limited due to a shoulder injury.
Belichick said he “wanted to get the tempo up a little bit” during the two-hour session.
Former Patriots coach Chuck Fairbanks attended the workout, as did members of the Fox network broadcast crew that will televise Sunday’s game.
Like his fellow offensive linemen, guard Logan Mankins has not shaven or trimmed his beard since the season began, but he will be in the barber’s chair first thing Monday morning.
“It’s out of control. Way too bushy,” Mankins said.
Mankins said that losing his facial hair is imperative because his next destination is a much warmer one — a working vacation at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. He is one of eight Patriots who have been selected to play.
Brady — who, unless he opts out to rest his ankle, will also be at the Pro Bowl — said he will be happy to see a clean-shaven Mankins. Or did he?
“Logan’s beard is ridiculous, and when he goes to Hawaii with a shaven face, he’s going to look terrible,” Brady said.
“Not that it can look any worse than it does right now. I don’t know what he’s doing.”
Linebacker Adalius Thomas said he spoke briefly this week with Justin Tuck, a Giants defensive end who is a second cousin. The two grew up not far from one another in Alabama.
“I couldn’t even tell you how we are related and don’t want to try, since I’d screw it up,” Thomas said.
“Our mothers would have to sit down and tell you. It’s a generational thing. But our family is proud of both of us.”
Though Brady will battle for a Super Bowl title against his brother, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning recently sent a congratulatory text message to the Patriots QB.
“It’s a pretty close bond you share with guys when you are about the same age and you’re playing the same position,” Brady said. “We’ve had a lot of the same experiences, Peyton and I.”
However, Brady is cognizant that Manning is likely having more detailed communication with brother Eli, the Giants’ signal caller.
“I’m sure he and Eli have talked about our defense a bit,” Brady said.
Tribune writer Scott Bordow contributed to this report.