A storm might be brewing in New England and it's not at all related to the Patriots' reliably unreliable defense. It's related to quarterback Tom Brady and the health of his non-throwing shoulder.

On Tuesday, Brady missed his first practice of the season. According to Michael Giardi of NBC Sports Boston, Brady re-aggravated a shoulder injury that he originally hurt against the Panthers on Oct. 1. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that Brady suffered what is believed to be an AC joint sprain. The good news is that the injury is in his left shoulder -- not his throwing shoulder. And according to Rapoport, Brady says he'll play against the Jets on Sunday.

Brady's been hit a ton this season. He's already been sacked 16 times after a 15-sack season in 2016. According to ESPN, he's been hit 32 times. Against the Panthers, he was sacked three times and hit seven times. Against the Buccaneers on Thursday night, he was sacked three times and hit six times. 

This just about sums up his night:

Still, there's no reason for the Patriots to panic. It's only Tuesday and giving a 40-year-old quarterback a day off doesn't seem like the worst idea. Brady doesn't need practice to be ready for a game against the hapless Jets.

Instead, the alarming aspect of all of this is the Patriots' inability to protect Brady. The Patriots need to figure out a way to keep him upright if they're going to overcome their shoddy defense. Otherwise, if the hits keep piling up, Brady could begin to look his age. As future Hall of Fame pass rusher DeMarcus Ware once said, "The way to beat Tom Brady is to hit him." The Patriots need Brady to be at his best if they're going to make another run at the Super Bowl.

Through five games, the Patriots are 3-2 and find themselves in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC East.