There is no need for an introduction when it comes to Tom Brady. He is a living legend without question and will go down as the most exceptional draft value ever in the NFL. Most people thought Brady would never wear a different uniform other than the New England Patriots. With countless wins, six Super Bowl rings, and more awards and records than you can fathom, everyone assumed that when it was time to retire, he would do so in Foxboro. That's not the case.
He will be joining an elite cast of offensive talent in Tampa Bay for the 2020 NFL season. I don't need to go into his entire career; it would probably take me ten pages. After all, he is my (Dr. Morse) favorite player. Growing up in Massachusetts and watching him since high school, I grew up with Boston sports dominating the American scene, and he was an integral part of that.
For the most part, Tom Brady has been able to stay healthy throughout his career. Brady has played in all 16 games in 16 of 18 NFL seasons (after he became the starter)! The two seasons where he missed games included the 2008 season, where he suffered the unfortunate ACL tear in the first game of the season, then 2016, with the four-game suspension. Another Iron Man!
Brady has never been the most agile, fast, or athletic, but what he lacks in physical attributes, he makes up for with quick decision making, elite understanding of defenses and high football IQ.
In 2019, Brady suffered an injury that he likely was dealing with for many seasons - tendonitis of his throwing elbow. Can you honestly be surprised?
With almost 10,000 passing attempts in the NFL, and that is not including any high school, college, or practice throws, there's a lot of mileage on his body. Despite his unusual take on modern medicine, use of his performance center, and trainer, as well as his anti-inflammatory diet, Brady has been able to withstand the test of time like very few in the NFL have been able to.
Brady is now 43-years old, and will now play in the beautiful weather of Tampa, Florida. No longer does he have to worry about the drop in atmospheric pressure, as it correlates with cold weather, which causes arthritis to flare, and become more achy and painful (now you understand why people travel to Florida in the winter).
In 2019, his right elbow injury was due to chronic wear and tear. While it is very challenging to get an exact medical diagnosis out of the Patriots' organization, I suspect that this is chronic tendinitis and wearing down of the multiple ligaments that help hold the elbow together.
The tendinitis will continue to be a chronic issue. It could require a combination of appropriate rehab, ice, bracing, decreased volume of throwing during practice, as well as other treatments (possibly platelet-rich plasma, PRP). To learn more about elbow tendonitis, click here.
Brady should be able to control the inflammation in the elbow enough to continue to win. I wanted to mention another injury that was never confirmed by the team. Still, Patriots beat writers, who are usually very intuitive, are confident that he was indeed dealing with something else. That is a foot injury that Brady suffered at some point in December 2019.
Watching the games in late December and early January, Brady was likely dealing with a foot or toe issue. You can see that he was wearing different cleats and trying out different footwear to see if something would help.
Brady was listed on the Week 14 injury report with a toe injury. Different possibilities include turf toe, a foot sprain/Lisfranc, and small metatarsal fracture, just to name a few. We will likely never
hear the exact diagnosis, but hopefully, the time off in the off-season will be enough to resolve this issue, both in the foot and in the elbow.
Brady will enter the 2020 season with his best set of offensive weapons in his historic and Hall of Fame career. I don't believe there will ever be another player like him ever again. Even if he isn't the greatest quarterback to play the game, or if he is, the fact that a 6th round selection, at the age of 42, can still thrive in the NFL is impressive.
His age is becoming a liability, as we saw in 2019. However, Brady still managed to score 264 fantasy points, averaging 17 points per game. He was 12th in quarterbacks in overall scoring and 16th in points per game.
The Bucs will have two elite top-tier wide receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, two above-average TEs in O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate, a rookie WR in Tyler Johnson as well as a couple of RBs who could make some noise this year, Ronald Jones and rookie Ke' Shawn Vaughn.
Brady will also have Rob Gronkowski back, who is a shell of his former self as well. Adding "Gronk" at this point is an embarrassment of riches. In 2019 both Evans (13 games) and Godwin (14 games) balled out, combining for 153 receptions, 2490 yards, and 17 touchdowns.
A bigger question is O.J. Howard and his progress. The Buccaneers felt good enough about him to extend his contract even though he hasn't lived up to his first-round selection. In 38 games, Howard has 94 receptions for 1,456 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Brady can still muster up the deep-ball when needed. In 2019, he completed 60 passes over 20 yards, good for the 5th most in the NFL. Brady was also the seventh-most accurate deep passer, completing 43% of 20 yards or more.
The Buccaneers provide reliable pass protection, as they offered the 10th-best pass-blocking unit last season; for reference, the Patriots finished 12th. The Buccaneers did allow 47 sacks to Jameis Winston, but Brady and Winston couldn't be any more different QBs. Brady has much better pocket awareness, rarely taking sacks, and knowing when to throw the ball away.
Ryan Jensen and Ali Marpet are both reliable protectors, and will lead the zone hybrid offense. Tampa Bay added a monster tackle in Tristan Wirfs out of Iowa with the 13th pick in the draft. He will replace Demar Dotson who retired. Alex Cappa is a strong run blocker.
According to PFF, Tampa Bay graded out to an 80.4 pass-blocking grade, which is second among NFL offenses, and there is a good chance that improves this year. Are you starting to see why Brady chose Tampa?
It will be challenging for Brady to match Jameis Winston numbers in 2019 of 5,109 yards and 33 touchdowns. However, he also won't throw 30 picks, as Winston did either. More than likely, Brady throws just over 4,000 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions, with a strong chance to finish as a QB1 in all leagues.
If Brady's body can hold up for one to two more years, which I think it will, this offense could be a thing of beauty. Without question, there is some inherent risk in the 43-year-old quarterback.
Sports Injury Predictor calculates that Brady has a 22.5% chance of injury in 2020, which translates to a 1.6% chance of injury per game. He has an elite durability score, as shown by his ability to play in 283 out of a possible 298 games (95%) is incredible over 19 years.
Between the foot and elbow injuries continuing to linger/resurface sometime in the season, as well as a combination of slow healing secondary to his age, as well as unforeseen injuries that he is likely to encounter, gives him a risk score of 6.
Brady is surrounded with the best offensive talent he has ever played with. He is in sunny Florida, and his arm strength is still alive. Brady should finish anywhere between QB8-10
Injury Risk: Moderate. 6/10.
|Projected Missed||Probability of injury per game ?||Probablity of injury in the season ?|
|Nov 24, 2019||Arm Elbow Sprain||Brady's right elbow issue was added to the Patriots' injury report after being limited at practice but wasn't forced to miss the game against the Cowboys due to it.|
|Jan 17, 2018||Hand Lacerated||Brady suffered a lacerated right (throwing) hand in practice on the Wednesday leading up to the AFC Championship. He required stitches but was able to play on Sunday.|
|Oct 10, 2014||Pedal Ankle Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1||Brady rolled his ankle in a practice but wasn't forced to miss any games due to it.|
|Sep 4, 2014||Leg Calf Strain||Brady missed with a calf injury but was ready for the season opener.|
|Nov 7, 2010||Pedal Foot Fracture||Brady reportedly played much or all of the 2010 season with a stress fracture in his foot. The injury might have dated back as far as 2008. He had surgery in January 2011.|
|Sep 7, 2008||Knee ACL Tear Grade 3||Brady tore his left ACL and MCL in the 1st quarter of Week 1, had surgery and missed the rest of the season.|