Much has been made of Tom Brady‘s raspy voice ahead of his return to New England, but one Tampa Bay Buccaneers insider isn’t buying the narrative.
“Tom Brady isn’t sick,” ESPN’s Jenna Laine wrote. “He’s had issues a couple times losing his voice, going back to this summer in camp. The crowd noise was extra loud today, so he was shouting over it. He had to do that last week, too.”
Brady also had to deal barking orders in the huddle and line of scrimmage amid full-capacity road crowd noise at Los Angeles in Week 3 for the first time since 2019. The crowd of 73,205 created a home-field advantage for the Rams that rivals the toughest places to play in the NFL according to the Orange County Register.
Either way, it didn’t sound so promising when Brady talked with the media on Thursday when his voice sounded raspy throughout the press conference. Brady openly fielded questions about it, including it sounding hoarse this summer at training camp as Laine noted.
“I don’t know. I’ve had a few of these days. I don’t know what the deal is, so I gotta try to figure this out,” Brady said via CBS Sports Boston. “I said my throat’s more tired than my arm. Imagine that. It came back. I know. Very strange. Something must be a little — I can’t explain that, so.”
Regardless of how Brady feels, he’s zeroed in on helping the Bucs bounce back from a loss to the Rams and beat his old team, the New England Patriots this Sunday. It hasn’t stopped fans and media pundits alike from reacting, including references to Michael Jordan’s flu game when he led the Chicago Bulls past the Utah Jazz in the 1997 NBA Finals.
Brady vs. COVID-19?
While Brady has beaten the odds playing pro football into his 40s, he didn’t evade catching COVID-19 last winter. He caught it shortly after the Super Bowl parade according to Laine.
Speculation of him catching COVID again, mostly from fans, naturally cropped up because of his hoarseness on Thursday. Brady nonetheless is listed as good to go by the Bucs for Sunday’s game as of the latest injury report.
He is also vaccinated, which was confirmed when Bucs head coach Bruce Arians announced the team is 100% vaccinated in September according to Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times. Vaccination hasn’t let anyone off the hook, including the Bucs, from catching COVID.
Bucs Catching COVID
Star wide receiver Antonio Brown missed last week’s game against the Rams because of testing positive according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter via Laine. Brown and the Bucs are far from alone whether in the NFL or beyond.
The CDC reports that of the 183 million people vaccinated in the U.S., there have been 5,226 deaths from breakthrough cases and 16,889 non-fatal hospitalizations.
Brady anticipated the challenge of COVID being greater this season than last despite the vaccine.
“I actually think it’s going to play more of a factor this year than last year, just because of the way what we’re doing now and what the stadium is going to look like and what the travel is going to look like and the people in the building and the fans,” Brady said via the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud.