Tom Brady played the entire 2020 season with a torn MCL, potentially creating a major problem for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to a report.
Since winning his seventh Super Bowl ring, Brady has been open about dealing with a “pretty serious” knee injury that required post-season surgery. A report this week in the Tampa Bay Times revealed that the veteran quarterback played every game with a torn MCL in his left knee, an injury suffered during his final season with the New England Patriots.
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While playing hurt seems like an impressive feat, the Buccaneers might be in trouble with the league for failing to disclose the injury.
As pointed out by CBS Sports, the NFL handbook requires all teams to disclose any injury — especially those of “key players.”
“It is NFL policy that information for dissemination to the public on all injured players be reported in a satisfactory manner by clubs to the league office, the opposing team, local and national media, and broadcast partners each game week of the regular season and postseason (including for the two Super Bowl teams between the Championship Games and Super Bowl),” the handbook reads.
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“The information must be credible, accurate, timely, and specific within the guidelines of the policy, which is of paramount importance in maintaining the integrity of the game.”
The policy continues: “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. This is especially true of key players and those players whose injuries have been the subject of local or national media coverage.”
If the Bucs were aware of Brady’s injury, the consequences of failing to report it are pretty serious.
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Penalties could include fines and suspensions of the people involved, as well as forfeiture of draft choices, according to the NFL.
The worst-case scenario for the Bucs would be a suspension for Brady. Who can forget Deflategate 2015 when Brady was accused of deflating footballs used in the Patriots AFC Championship win over the Indianapolis Colts that resulted in a $1 million fine, the forfeiture of two draft picks, and a four-game suspension for the signal-caller.
League spokesman Brian McCarthy declined to comment on the latest allegations in a statement to ProFootballTalk.