While Tom Brady didn't go all Paul Revere on the assembled media attending his Wednesday press conference at Patriots headquarters, he fired a shot heard 'round the world – perhaps inadvertently dropping dime on the Vikings' quarterback plan for Sunday.
Because enquiring minds wanted to know, Brady was asked what he thought about former protégée Brian Hoyer getting an improbable win over the Vikings, who have another Brady backup in Matt Cassel.
In the discussion, Brady made the following comment: "I'm friends with both those guy. Matt Cassel, who may be starting this week. Brian, I text back and forth."
From that comment has come the inference that Cassel texted Brady, his former teammate and current friend, to let him know that he may be getting his first start as a Viking on Sunday. For the conspiracy media, it helps give credence to the stories surfacing that Christian Ponder sustained a rib injury Sunday in the first quarter against Cleveland.
It should be noted that Leslie Frazier never referenced the rib injury during his post-game or Monday press conference and Ponder never referenced any discomfort – or displayed it in the second half of Sunday's game. The first word of the rib injury came on Wednesday and Ponder was limited in practice. In this case, being limited means that someone else (Cassel) is taking first-team reps that would have all gone to the starter (Ponder).
Has social media once again circumvented quietly-laid plans by an NFL team? Perhaps, but it should be noted for those who prefer to do a little fact-checking is that the Steelers aren't exactly the best opponent for Cassel to face. In three games against them, he has never completed more than 50 percent of his passes, has thrown for just 571 yards and has more interceptions (3) than touchdowns (2).
If the Vikings are looking to salvage their 2013 season, having Cassel ready is a must. But perhaps Brady spilled the beans in Boston.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.