Originally tabbed for a coaching role, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady took the field as a player instead of a coach at the team’s minicamp on Tuesday.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said last week that Brady wouldn’t practice at the minicamp amid his recovery from knee surgery. Arians also said that Brady would play more of a coaching role during the minicamp.
Brady came out with a sleeve on his left knee according to ABC Action News’ Kyle Burger. The five-time Super Bowl MVP threw just like the rest of the team’s quarterbacks per Burger.
Arians confirmed that doctors cleared Brady per WFLA’s Gabrielle Shirley.
“The doctors and him, they both said he is good to go and to be careful with what we are doing with him,” Arians said per Shirley. “He had some really good third or fourth options to Jaydon Mickens today … really pleased with the receivers today.”
Arians also said Brady “went full speed” per Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times.
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No Letting Up for Brady
“Trying to stop [Brady] from playing is pretty tough,” Arians said per Sports Illustrated’s All Bucs. “He looked fine. I had to pull him out a couple [of times]. First period, I said ‘Okay, you can have four [reps],’ but he kept begging to go back in. The only thing I didn’t want him in was blitz period where some guys may get around there too quick.”
Pewter Report’s Jon Ledyard wrote that Brady “looked outstanding” and “pushed the coaches to let him in on every possible rep and ended up practicing for almost the entirety of the morning.”
It didn’t come as a total surprise for Arians and company since Brady had been leading informal workouts with receivers the past couple of weeks. That included some skill players such as Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Tyler Johnson choosing to run routes with Brady instead of participating in organized team activities last week. It didn’t thrill Arians.
Brady Staying Healthy
Brady underwent knee surgery in the offseason after playing 20 games for the Bucs in 2020 between the regular season and playoffs. He didn’t miss any snaps due to knee issues.
Missing time due to injury has been an anomaly for Brady in his career. He tore his ACL in 2008 and missed all but one game that season but hasn’t missed time due to injury since.
In his 21st season in the league, Brady threw for 4,633 yards and 40 touchdowns as he led the Bucs to an 11-5 regular season record. He then led the Bucs to three-consecutive playoff road wins and Super Bowl LV victory.
Brady joined the Bucs as a free agent in 2020 after spending 20 seasons with the New England Patriots where led the team to six Super Bowl wins in nine appearances. At 43 years of age, the Bucs have Brady under contract two more seasons after signing an extension in the offseason.
Speculation has abounded how long Brady will play. Bucs general manager Jason Licht recently said Brady is welcome to play until he’s 50.