Tom Brady apparently spent a greater part of the 2020 NFL season dealing with a knee injury, but his recent comments on the malady could pose a problem for the Buccaneers and the NFL.
In a press conference with reporters on Wednesday, Brady confirmed that he had been dealing with his injured knee long term. In fact, it came up shortly after he signed with the Bucs.
“It was an injury I dealt with really since last April, May. I knew I would have to do something at the end of the year,” Brady said. “[I’m] happy I did it. It was something that certainly needed to be done. There was a great outcome. So I was very happy about that. I’ll be able to do some different things this year than I was able to do last year.”
Brady and the Bucs went on to win the Super Bowl, so what’s the big deal about the knee injury? Well, the Buccaneers never listed Brady on the injury report with a knee problem. If he was dealing with the issue that long and they didn’t do anything about it, the NFL may have to step in and fine them for that.
The NFL has yet to speak on Brady’s injury but there is precedent for this scenario. As outlined by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the NFL once fined the Jets for not disclosing Brett Favre’s partially torn biceps tendon in 2008, and the quarterback himself was part of the reason that happened.
It happened because, as one league source explained it at the time, Favre’s constant comments about the undisclosed injury upon joining the Vikings forced the league to act. If the injury report is to have any integrity in an age of proliferating legalized gambling, the NFL may have to do so the same thing here, given Brady’s repeated admissions that point to a failure to properly disclose the knee injury that he so obviously had.
The Buccaneers might want to ask Brady to stop discussing the injury at the risk of getting fined by the NFL. Even still, the damage may have already been done.
Of course, the Bucs won’t mind paying a bit of fine money for this. After all, they are fresh off a Super Bowl win and figure to be one of the best teams in the NFL again during the 2021 season, especially if Brady is healthier than he was in 2020.
So, what’s a little lost pocket change for the team? Not much, so long as they don’t err with their injury report again next season.