Super Bowl LII Opening Night: Brady's hand not ready for a thumb war

New England Patriots star Tom Brady was unwilling to enter a thumb war with a former team-mate, saying his right hand was not quite ready.

Brady's media night began by speaking with former Patriots team-mate Willie McGinest on Monday.

When the former Patriots linebacker, who now works for NFL Network, ended his interview, he challenged Brady to a thumb war. Brady held out his left hand, telling McGinest his injured right hand was not ready yet.

Brady cut his right hand above the thumb prior to the AFC championship game. The injured hand has been a topic of discussion ever since, but Brady still threw for 290 yards and two touchdowns in the 24-20 victory. 

The Patriots quarterback wore gloves on both hands during Monday's Super Bowl LII Opening Night at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The hand is not expected to impair him during Sunday's game against NFC champions the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Between taking questions about Madonna and suggestions on how to get Bill Belichick to laugh, Brady did take field some football questions and praised the Eagles and called Philadelphia's Nick Foles "a damn good quarterback".

"They're good in all three phases," Brady said of the Eagles.

"There are no underdogs in the Super Bowl. They're the first seed in the NFC. They had an incredible season. They're as dangerous as any team in the league. It's going to come down to who plays the best and hopefully it's us."

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was knocked from the AFC championship game, is still in the concussion protocol and did not participate in Monday's media night. Fourth-year cornerback Malcolm Butler, the hero of New England's win over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX, also did not participate in Monday's event because of a minor illness. 

Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks caught 65 passes for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns during the regular season. He caught six passes for 100 yards in the AFC championship game. While he came up with big plays almost every week, he blanked when asked to name his favourite ninja turtle.

Outside of Brady and Belichick, the most popular podium belonged to receiver Danny Amendola, who had seven catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns in the win over the Jaguars.

When asked what the Patriots need to do to beat the Eagles, Amendola deadpanned: "We have to score more points than them."

When asked about Brady, Amendola said: "He's a nice guy, and I don't mind talking about him."

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