Recent reports suggest that Tom Brady’s knee injury was way more serious than everyone thought. The story goes that the 43-year-old quarterback played the 2020 NFL season through a fully torn MCL, leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Super Bowl 55 win.
Despite having a serious knee problem, Brady earned himself the Super Bowl MVP award. Further, on the road to the Bucs’ second Super Bowl in history, the legendary QB set a franchise record with 40 passing TDs.
Equally impressive is the fact that in 2020, we saw him starting every single game his team played (16 regular-season games + 4 in the postseason).
Until Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network revealed the story of Brady’s MCL problem, the football community had limited information regarding the injury. The quarterback himself kept the issue to himself, although he did once describe it as “pretty serious.”
Brady’s MCL Injury Is a Thing of the Past
The medial collateral ligament, or MCL for short, is a tissue that lines the inner edge of the knee. The purpose of the MCL is to connect the shin with the bones of the thigh, thus keeping the knee stable during movement.
If the MCL is torn, the knee can hyperextend easily, which creates the risk of it bending in the wrong direction. In Brady’s case, the MCL on the left knee got torn. As that is the knee he uses to step into his passes, Brady had to be careful not to let the injury worsen.
Tampa Bay’s medical staff came up with a makeshift solution near the end of the 2020 season – having Brady miss one practice a week in order to rest his knee.
However, the only real solution for dealing with a torn MCL is surgery. That’s exactly the path Brady followed after the 2020 season wrapped up. In late February, he finally underwent surgery, after months of playing through the issue.
“I feel like there’s some things I’ll be able to do this year that I wasn’t able to do last year.”Brady commented on his TCL surgery.
It’s been a couple of months since then and the problem seems to be gone. Brady has spent most of the offseason following a strict rehabilitation program to ensure his knee won’t be troubling him in the upcoming season.
Can Brady Lead the Bucs to Another Super Bowl?
In the regular season of 2020, Brady completed 601 passes, which is just one short of his all-time record. He also passed for 40 touchdowns, which is his second-best result in the 21 seasons he’s been in the NFL.
In those 16 regular-season games, he passed for 4,633 yards, which is his best record since 2015. We also saw him rushing for another 3 TDs. He was even impressive in the postseason, recording 1,061 passing yards for 10 TDs (thus equaling his passing TD record from the 2014 Playoffs).
The big question is can he do put on the same level of performance in 2021? Sure, his knee problem is gone, but the quarterback is turning 44 in August.
Judging by the betting odds, he might! The odds on Brady making over 4,500.5 passing yards are -101. He also seems capable of leading the Bucs to another Super Bowl.
Tampa Bay is currently the #2 favorite for winning the Super Bowl at +700, trailing behind Kansas City. At the moment, the Chiefs are priced at +450.
The Bucs are favored to win the NFC at +350.