Tom Brady was playing through more pain than may have been initially thought during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl run. What is now clear is that Brady was dealing with an MCL injury, but there have been conflicting reports about the severity. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Brady played through a fully-torn MCL in 2020.
“Bucs QB Tom Brady’s injury was actually more serious than that [partial tear],” Rapoport tweeted. “It was a fully torn MCL, sources say, that required surgery following the Super Bowl win.”
Rapoport was referencing Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud’s report that Brady dealt with a partial MCL tear. According to Stroud, Brady sustained the injury during his final season with the Patriots.
“Brady did it while playing with a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee that he suffered in his final season with the Patriots,” Stroud detailed. “The injury gradually worsened during his first year with the Bucs, and he finally had surgery to repair it in late February after winning his seventh Super Bowl. Brady has declined to give specifics about his knee surgery, saying only that it was ‘pretty serious.’”
Brady Sustained the Knee Injury While With the Patriots: Report
This tracks with what Brady revealed to be an injury that he had been dealing with since last April. Brady played with the injury throughout the 2020 season knowing he would eventually need surgery.
“It was an injury I dealt with really since last April, May,” Brady told reporters in a June 9th press conference. “I knew I would have to do something at the end of the year and happy I did it. It was certainly something that needed to be done, and there’s a great outcome. So, I’m very happy about that. I feel that I’ll be able to do some different things than I was able to do last year.”
The Bucs Did Not Report Brady’s Injury Prompting Speculation About Potential NFL Discipline
The interesting part is the Bucs never listed Brady’s knee on any of the weekly injury reports. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio believes the lack of disclosure could prompt the Buccaneers to receive discipline from the league.
“In 2009, the NFL handed out multiple fines to the Jets for not disclosing Brett Favre’s partially torn biceps tendon in 2008,” Florio noted. “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 good news is all indications are Brady will be ready for training camp. Brady has been posting workout videos of himself running and throwing without a knee brace. The Bucs quarterback has said on multiple occasions that he has even higher expectations for this season now that he is fully healthy and entering the second year inside the Tampa Bay system.