And while he has been private about the injury — calling it “serious” but sparing any other details in May — new reports reveal more about what exactly the injury was and when he suffered it.
Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reported Thursday the quarterback needed to repair a tear in his left medial collateral ligament he suffered during the 2019 season — his last with the New England Patriots.
Later, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport said the injury was a full MCL tear.
Despite attempting to keep any details private, Brady did open up about his recovery process in an appearance on Hodinkee Radio in May.
“So it’s been pretty intense, this offseason, from that standpoint because it’s been six-and-a-half weeks that I’ve been dealing with that rehab process,” he said, as transcribed by 247 Sports. “The season went pretty long, into February. So it’s just now I’m starting to feel like the offseason’s happening, and I’m going to blink my eyes and the offseason’s going to be over. And I don’t think I’ve created this vision in terms of what I’m excited about. Like, I don’t really think I’ve created this space in my life for things outside of football to really take over that level of excitement. I still feel like throwing the football is what I love to do.”
While the severity of the injury apparently is up for debate, that it happened at all makes what Brady accomplished in 2020-2021 that much more impressive.
In his age-43 season, Brady totaled 53 touchdowns between the regular season and playoffs, the most ever for a championship quarterback, according to NFL reporter Dov Kleiman.
He finished the regular season with 4,633 passing yards, his most since 2015. His 40 touchdown passes were his most since 2007, when he led the league with 50.
The Buccaneers are ready to run it back, with all 22 Super Bowl starters returning for the 2021 season. And it apparently doesn’t matter if Brady is fully healthy or not; he has proven he can lead the group to a title regardless.