It isn’t straightforward to upstage your self after six Tremendous Bowl wins, however Tom Brady undoubtedly managed to do this final season and that is as a result of not solely did he find yourself successful his seventh Lombardi Trophy, however he did it in a yr the place he performed the complete season with a torn MCL.
The person gained a Tremendous Bowl enjoying on one leg!
Though this can look legendary on Brady’s résumé, it is not essentially factor for the Buccaneers that this damage information leaked out on Thursday and that is as a result of it may put them in scorching water with the NFL.
The issue for the Buccaneers is that if Brady performed the complete season with an MCL tear, then he ought to have been listed on the staff’s damage report every week through the season. The NFL has a selected rule that covers this actual state of affairs and the rule is fairly clear.
From the league’s handbook:
“All gamers who’ve reportable accidents have to be listed on the apply report, even when the participant takes all of the reps in apply, and even when the staff is for certain that he’ll play within the upcoming recreation. That is very true of key gamers.”
The italicized portion of the above quote is actually UNDERLINED within the league’s operations handbook. The truth that the NFL additionally mentions particularly that every one “key” gamers needs to be on the report is one thing that can make this troublesome for the Buccaneers to argue their method out of.
If a staff violates the NFL’s coverage on reporting accidents, the commissioner has the facility at hand down a number of completely different punishments, together with the suspension of anybody concerned.
“A violation of the coverage could lead to Commissioner self-discipline, which can embody a positive on the concerned membership, fines or suspensions of concerned people, in addition to the potential forfeiture of draft decisions by the concerned membership,” the league’s rulebook states.
Think about how loopy issues would get if Roger Goodell determined to droop Brady for the second time in 5 years.
When requested if the Buccaneers can be punished over the Brady state of affairs, the NFL gave a “no remark” to Professional Soccer Speak. The “no remark” doesn’t suggest the Buccaneers will not be punished. What it almost certainly means is that the NFL goes to look into the state of affairs. For the Buccaneers, it should be almost unattainable to disclaim that Brady performed injured, particularly as a result of he admitted it final month.
Brady was truly requested about his knee damage throughout minicamp in June and though he by no means admitted how severe it was, he did admit that it had been bothering him since April 2020.
“It was an damage I handled actually since final April, Could,” Brady stated. “I knew I would should do one thing on the finish of the [2020 season], and completely happy I did it. It was most likely one thing that definitely wanted to be accomplished and there was an amazing consequence, so I am very completely happy about that. I really feel I am going to have the ability to do some various things this yr than I used to be in a position to do final yr.”
The NFL has confirmed it’s going to punish groups that conceal accidents, particularly in excessive profile conditions. After hiding a Brett Favre damage through the 2008 season, the Jets had been hit with a $125,000 positive.
In a newer state of affairs, the Steelers had been fined $100,000 in 2019 — $75,000 for the staff and $25,000 for Mike Tomlin — for not precisely itemizing Ben Roethlisberger on their Week 2 damage report. Massive Ben missed a apply main as much as the sport with an elbow damage, however the Steelers by no means listed the damage. As a substitute, they listed his absence as a veteran relaxation day. The NFL came upon concerning the damage after Steelers backup quarterback Mason Rudolph famous that Roethlisberger was struggling elbow ache within the lead up to Pittsburgh’s Week 2 recreation in opposition to Seattle. Massive Ben ended up struggling an elbow damage within the recreation that brought on him to overlook the remainder of the season.
The Roethlisberger state of affairs solely concerned one week of apply studies and the Steelers nonetheless bought hit with a significant positive, so it would not be shocking if Tampa Bay will get hit with one thing related or presumably even larger, because the Buccaneers went a complete yr with out acknowledging Brady’s damage on their apply studies.
The NFL does not have an extended historical past of punishing groups for apply report violations, however like Favre and Massive Ben, that is such a high-profile case that the league may find yourself deciding to make an instance of the Buccaneers.