Add Rob Ninkovich to the list of those whom Tom Brady didn’t blow away by playing through injury.
The former Patriots linebacker downplayed the significance of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback’s demonstration of toughness Friday. Despite playing the entire 2020 NFL season with a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee, Brady led the Bucs to a Super Bowl triumph for the seventh championship of his legendary career. Brady’s feat might sound unbelievable to laypeople, but Ninkovich, who played alongside between 2009 and 2016, is hear to burst that bubble.
“… No. 1, he’s very tough, so don’t question Tom’s toughness,” Ninkovich said Friday on ESPN’s “Get Up.” “He is a very tough guy. “? Sometimes you can hit Tom, you can get on top of Tom and drop weight on Tom and he almost enjoys it. It’s super weird. It doesn’t surprise me that he would fight through injury through the whole season.
“But on the flip side of that, I am just going to say this: “? a MCL — to play through an MCL injury — isn?t crazy. I think every single football player has played through some type of injury, especially an MCL, which is probably the least-most important part if it’s not a grade three tear. ? So Tom, playing through injury, yes, very tough. But a lot of people play through injuries.”
Ninkovich joins former NFL tight end and FOX Sports analyst Shannon Sharpe among those who aren’t overly impressed by Brady’s pain tolerance.
Brady passed for 4,633 yards and 40 touchdowns in the regular season and 13 more in the playoffs. Imagine what he might have accomplished at age 43 with two good knees.