The NFL world was surprised to learn Thursday that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady played the 2020 NFL season with a partially torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee later said to be a fully torn MCL.
Brady claimed in June that the knee problem first popped up in the spring of 2020 and after he signed with the Buccaneers, but Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reported Thursday the seven-time Super Bowl champion first encountered the setback while with the New England Patriots during the 2019 campaign.
As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reiterated, the Buccaneers never once placed Brady on the injury report last season with a knee issue, which would be a violation of league rules if he and/or team officials knew he had at least a torn MCL last fall and throughout the playoffs.
When asked about the matter, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy responded to PFT: "We will decline comment."
Back in 2019, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions, along with individuals employed by those franchises, were fined for failing to adhere to the league's strict injury report policy that exists, in part, to prevent gamblers from obtaining inside and behind-the-scenes information not available to the public. The Steelers were fined that November, while the Lions were punished the following month, so non-Buccaneers fans may not want to hold their breaths waiting for the NFL to announce a final decision on the latest "Brady-gate."