Could Bucs face punishment for not disclosing Brady’s injury?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting quarterback Tom Brady confirmed in early March he underwent surgery on his left knee following the Super Bowl LV victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, and Buccaneers quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen raised eyes last week when he said Brady’s knee was not “100%” throughout the 2020 season. 

Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the seven-time champion signal-caller explained on Wednesday that his knee issue first popped up last spring. There’s just one problem, as Florio notes: Brady’s knee was never mentioned on an official NFL injury report during his first season with the Buccaneers, which goes against league rules if he was, in fact, carrying any sort of setback from September through the Super Bowl. 

Back during the 2019 campaign when league officials didn’t have to worry about COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions, as well as staff members for those teams, were hit with fines for violations of the injury report policy. It seems unlikely the Buccaneers would face anything other than a financial penalty for failing to disclose Brady’s injury, and everyone involved would probably say the punishment was worth the crime considering the future Hall of Famer guided the club to a championship this past February. 

Nevertheless, one assumes the NFL will keep an eye on the Buccaneers between now and their final game of the upcoming season to make them think twice about hiding any similar information.

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