Turns out, Brady's been playing with the rib injury the entire season.
That is, at least, according to the report coming from the Providence Journal's Shalise Young, who confirmed that Brady had been dealing with the broken ribs for some time.
Brady suffered the injury in the preseason game against the Redskins, and re-aggravated it in New York against the Jets in Week 2.
There's nothing surprising about the fact that Brady has a rib injury (and has had one) -- he's been listed on the injury report with "ribs" for quite some time. What's a bit terrifying for the Patriots is that the ribs have been broken all season long; it helps explains why he's been unable to hit his full stride much of the season.
It also fits perfectly in line with Bill Belichick's typically cryptic injury reports and -- coupled with the Wes Welker injury Sunday against the Texans -- should make Pats fans a little nervous about Brady having even started this game, not to mention their postseason hopes.