The NFL world learned last week that Tom Brady played the entire 2020-21 season with a torn MCL. Talk about a legend. Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, they could face a massive punishment from the NFL for keeping the injury a secret.
The Bucs never listed Brady on their injury report last year. The NFL requires teams to list players on the report, regardless of how severe it is. The league even demands teams list players who have minor injuries, despite taking most or all reps in practice during the regular season.
“All players who have reportable injuries must be listed on the practice report, even if the player takes all the reps in practice, and even if the team is certain that he will play in the upcoming game,” the league’s handbook reads, via CBS Sports. “This is especially true of key players.”
The Bucs can try and argue their way out of this all they’d like. But it certainly appears the NFL could issue a significant punishment in the result of a fine or suspension.
“A violation of the policy may result in Commissioner discipline, which may include a fine on the involved club, fines or suspensions of involved individuals, as well as the possible forfeiture of draft choices by the involved club,” the league’s handbook reads.
It will be interesting to see how Roger Goodell responds here. Will he punish the Buccaneers as a whole or just Tom Brady? Either would send shockwaves throughout the league.
Regardless of potential suspension, Brady cemented his status as an absolute legend by winning a Super Bowl during his first year with the Buccaneers.
The fact that he did so with a fully-torn MCL is simply remarkable.