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Tom Brady limped off the field in pain, and the New England Patriots can only hope their Super Bowl hopes didn't go with him.
The NFL's reigning MVP left yesterday's 17-10 victory over Kansas City midway through the first quarter with an injured left knee after being hit on a throw. There was no immediate word on the extent of Brady's injury — "I am not sure what we are dealing with," coach Bill Belichick said — or how long he would be out.
"It kind of looked bad," wide receiver Randy Moss said.
Various reports last night said Belichick told the players that the injury was serious. The Patriots were already looking for a possible replacement for Brady. A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that former Tampa Bay quarterback Chris Simms was coming in today for a physical.
Brady went to the locker room and wasn't seen again as backup Matt Cassel led the Patriots to the victory. Cassel, who had thrown just 39 passes in his first three seasons, could see a lot more action if Brady is sidelined next week — or beyond.
"They're looking at him, doing some tests on him, so I don't have any information there," Belichick said, cracking a smile as he added, "doubt anybody's interested."
The 31-year-old Brady, who last season led the Patriots to an undefeated regular season and their fourth Super Bowl in eight years, wasn't available for comment after the game.
"He's the face of the New England Patriots, and Tom being who he is, it kind of hurts, to be honest with you," said Moss, who caught a record 23 TD passes from Brady last season.
In other games, it was Tennessee 17, Jacksonville 10; the New York Jets 20, Miami 14; Carolina 26, San Diego 24; Chicago 29, Indianapolis 13; Dallas 28, Cleveland 10; Arizona 23, San Francisco 13; Pittsburgh 38, Houston 17; Philadelphia 38, St. Louis 3; New Orleans 24, Tampa Bay 20; Atlanta 34, Detroit 21; Buffalo 34, Seattle 10; and Baltimore 17, Cincinnati 10.
Tonight, Minnesota is at Green Bay and Denver is at Oakland.
At Foxborough, Mass., Brady, who has started 128 consecutive games, went to the turf clutching his left knee midway through the first quarter. After being tended to on the field, he walked off, limping, between two trainers.
After missing the entire preseason with an unspecified foot injury, Brady was hit on the left leg by Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard.
"He was in a lot of pain," Pollard said. "When you hear a scream, you know that."
The Patriots plummeted from an exclamation point of an unbeaten 2007 regular season to a huge question mark to begin 2008. They lost the Super Bowl to the New York Giants 17-14, then went 0-4 in the exhibition season while Brady had a right foot injury and missed all four games.
Cassel went 13-for-18 for 152 yards and one touchdown.
"This is something I've been preparing for (for) a long time. It's not something that we expected to come up on opening day," Cassel said. "Since I've been here and been around Tom, he's always popped back up."
This program aired on September 8, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.
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