Foxborough, MA: Patriots Nation took a collective breath yesterday as the power of the red shirt faded and led to quarterback Tom Brady finding himself on the ground, clutching his knee during a practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
During full-padded 11-on-11 scrimmage drills, Tampa Bay DE Adrian Clayborn bowled over New England LT Nate Solder. The offensive lineman fell over, tripping up Tom Brady as he was attempting a pass to Aaron Dobson.
The difference between another Super Bowl run and an 0-16 season for the New England Patriots rested on Brady’s left knee, which he clutched after the tumble. This was the same knee in which he tore his ACL in the 2008 season, and had been wearing a brace over in games.
Alerts of the potentially disastrous injury spread across the state of Massachusetts, as local police officers, fireman, and EMTs from as far as Pittsfield were dispatched to assist the Patriots’ medical staff in helping Tom Brady up off the field. The US National Guard in both Springfield and Whitinsville, as well as multiple Coast guard outposts, sent MedEvac helicopters to provide air transportation if necessary.
Initial reports and an MRI have analysts believing that the injury is not very serious. “Of course he’s going to touch his leg and gimp around a bit,” explained Doctor Alexander Kutz, whose first name is really Doctor. “He’s barely touched in a regular season. Sometimes I wonder if he remembers this is tackle football.”
Indeed, most quarterbacks in tackle football would have the field intuition to know to get out of the pocket if it’s collapsing. “Hey, this is Tom Brady we’re talking about,” explained sports analyst Paul Emmerlan. “Defenses get personal foul penalties in the regular season if they collapse the pocket against Tom Brady. I’m pretty sure Patriots management will be looking for a 20-game suspension of Clayborn from Roger Goodell.”
The good news is that Bill Belichick will be able to put Tom Brady on the “Questionable” list for the rest of the season in the hopes of having defenses spend time guarding against an appearance of Tim Tebow.