Injuries Impacting Play
One of the most specific points in the ESPN article the claim that Brady’s injuries were hurting his play and causing other players to get injured. The article points out a specific play when a completion to Chris Hogan results in Hogan injuring his shoulder.
"“The criticism has continued this year, as Brady has been hit a lot and battled various injuries. Atypically, he has missed a lot of practices and, in the team’s private evaluations, is showing the slippage of a 40-year-old quarterback even as he is contending for MVP and is as deadly as ever with the game on the line. Injuries to his shoulder and Achilles have done more than undermine claims that the TB12 Method can help you play football virtually pain-free. Subtle changes have at times hampered the offense and affected the depth chart. On a fourth-quarter play against the Los Angeles Chargers, for instance, Brady had a clean pocket and a first read open deep, possibly for a touchdown. But Brady got rid of the ball quickly over the middle to receiver Chris Hogan, who had nowhere to run and was hit hard, injuring his shoulder. He missed all but one game of the rest of the season. “Tom was trying to get it out quick,” a Patriots staffer says. “As fragility has increased, nervousness has also increased.””"
NESN’s Zack Cox found the exact play that was described, which can be found here.
The play is a staple of the Patriots offense, a crossing route which Brady delivers quickly, especially with the Chargers above average pass rushers on the edge. Hogan gets hit hard on his arm, resulting in a shoulder injury.
Injuries could obviously affect Brady’s play, but to blame Brady for injuring Hogan is unfair. Also worth noting, the ESPN report states Brady’s shoulder and Achilles injury. During this play, Brady was only dealing with the injury to his non-throwing shoulder. The Achilles injury didn’t appear on the injury report until Week 11.