FOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady’s impending return couldn’t come at a better time.
New England Patriots fans are beginning to panic after their team was shut out at home for the first time in almost 23 years. And worse yet, the embarrassing 16-0 blowout came at the hands of Rex Ryan’s Buffalo Bills. So get ready for a weeklong victory lap from Ryan and his players.
But Brady is allowed to return to the Patriots’ facility Monday, as his four-game Deflategate suspension is up at midnight, and the quarterback already was spotted working out in Brookline to sneak in some last-minute reps before he can go back to Gillette Stadium for good.
Needless to say, it will be easy for fans to get over Sunday’s loss, no matter how poorly the Patriots played. And don’t get me wrong — they played like garbage.
Patriots players, however, restrained themselves from showing their full joy over Brady’s return in the locker room following Sunday’s loss.
“You’ve got to give hats off to Jacoby (Brissett) today going out there,” tight end Rob Gronkowski said. “Much respect to him going out there and doing what he did today as a rookie, so hats off to our quarterbacks. They did a tremendous job the first four weeks, and obviously it’s exciting to get Tom back tomorrow.”
Wide receiver Danny Amendola took the approach of stating the obvious.
“He’s a good football player,” Amendola said. “So we’re excited to get Tom back. He’s our leader.”
Wide receiver Julian Edelman’s approach was similar.
“It’s going to be great,” Edelman said. “He’s one of the best players on your team, a guy who leads us. It’s going to be good to have him back, so yeah, it’ll be good.”
Coach Bill Belichick was ultra-negative in his postgame news conference and wouldn’t even let up when asked his thoughts on having Brady back in the fold.
“Right now, my thoughts are on the Buffalo game,” Belichick said.
This comes as no surprise. Belichick will batter and beat his players after Sunday’s loss until he has worked them into a lather to take on and annihilate the Cleveland Browns in Brady’s Week 5 return. Belichick was as optimistic as you’ll ever see him following the Patriots’ wins over the Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans, because it would be understandable for the team to lack confidence with Brissett and Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm.
With Brady back, the Patriots need some tough love following an embarrassing defeat. They no longer can go 16-0, but Brady will do everything he can to make sure they’re undefeated with him under center.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images