New England Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner told ESPN he and his teammates would go after injured Seattle Seahawks defensive backs Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas during Super Bowl XLIX.
But maybe he should be worried about his health and that of his teammates.
Based off both squads’ injury reports, the Patriots, including Browner, have six players listed as questionable compared to just one for the Seahawks ahead of Sunday’s matchup at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Insisting the Seahawks are his “brothers,” Browner’s comments weren't necessarily threatening or vindictive, rather an explaination of how players try to gain an edge in any big game.
"Those are my brothers. At the end of the day, there are no hard feelings," Browner said during Tuesday’s media day. "It's like in any game. You have a guy that messes his ankle up, you want to tackle him and make sure you land on the ankle. Say a guy messes his shoulder up; you tackle him and land on his shoulder. That's just a part of the game.
"You guys know how I close I am to those guys. At the time, that felt like the right thing to say."
Browner (knee), linebacker Dont’a Hightower (shoulder), defensive tackle Chris Jones (elbow), wide receiver Brandon LaFell (shoulder/toe), defensive tackle Sealver Siliga (foot), and offensive lineman Bryan Stork (knee) are all listed as questionable, with most limited in practices.
Most of the injuries are on defense at a time when New England has hummed throughout the postseason. They held the high-scoring Colts to seven points in the AFC Championship, and have forced five turnovers in two postseason games. The Patriots have also held opponents to an average of 17 points in the last nine games.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, on top of the Deflategate controversy swirling around him, is listed as probable with an ankle injury that’s bothered him since Week 16 of the regular season.
Seattle’s Thomas is the only one listed as questionable. The All-Pro suffered a separated shoulder in the NFC Championship victory over Green Bay on Jan. 18, but continued to play into overtime in the improbable 16-point comeback.
Sherman also played through an elbow injury against the Packers, and he’s listed as probable.
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll acknowledged both Thomas and Sherman’s injuries, but clarified that they have practiced.
"Richard practiced in all the practices, and he looks to be fine," Carroll said according to NJ.com. "He still has an elbow to take care of, but he's practiced well. Earl practiced yesterday, the day before and got the last day of practice in and looked fine."
Sherman led the Seahawks with four interceptions in the regular season, and picked off two more in the postseason. Thomas was third on the team with 97 total tackles, and has recorded 16 more with a forced fumble during the playoffs.
Top Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is listed, but probable, and Carroll has kept him out of many practices this season to keep his star rusher fresh.