NFC Notes: Tom Brady, Buccaneers, Lions

Tom Brady

Buccaneers HC Tom Brady said he contracted COVID-19 in February and is concerned the NFL hasn’t done enough to stop the spread this season.

“And I think it’s going to be challenging this year,” Brady said, via Greg Auman. “I actually think it’s going to play more of a factor this year than last year, just because of the way what we’re doing now and what the stadium is going to look like and what the travel is going to look like and the people in the building and the fans.

“It’s not like last year, although we’re getting tested like last year. It’s going to be, I definitely think guys are going to be out at different points and we’ve just got to deal with it.”

Buccaneers QB coach Clyde Christensen said HC Bruce Arians has been great at keeping COVID away from the team

“He did an unbelievable job keeping this thing together during COVID,” Christensen said. “He didn’t compromise, and it ended up being one of the huge advantages because we didn’t have any dips because of COVID, largely because of him. He had zero tolerance for cutting corners on the COVID protocol.

“He dog-cussed them. If he thought there was any slack whatsoever in us taking that thing for granted or letting down our guard, he snapped the team back to attention.”


Buccaneers QB Tom Brady is anticipating 2021 to be even better than 2020 for a number of reasons, including being fully healthy after playing through a knee injury last season. Brady revealed he also plans to shed the brace he’s worn since his torn ACL in 2008, which will give him a little added mobility. 

“It’s good for me to feel like I can move around freely,” Brady said via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “I had a knee sleeve on for 13 years. Just that little bit of compression keeps a hamstring from working the right way. You try to compress the knee to keep it more stable, but then you’re also compressing the quad. This is the first time that I’ve been able to run and not think about it. I’m not going to turn into Michael Vick out there but at least I’m not going to be super restricted.” 


Lions HC Dan Campbell said they expect DT Michael Brockers (ankle) to be ready for Week 1 but they want to avoid a setback right now. 

“I think we feel like he’ll be ready Week 1,” Campbell said, via Tim Twentyman. “He is still improving, he is. It’s just at a snail’s pace right now. The fear is that if you put him in too early right now, do we take away everything that we’ve gotten, the gains that we have gotten by holding him (out)?”

Campbell added that they want to make sure Brockers is as close to 100 percent as possible. 

“I think that’s the tough trick right now. I know this, if you said we had to play right now, he would go play. But yet, if we thought we could get him to that almost 100 percent range by holding him a little bit more, is it worth it? Well, knowing that we have a long season and he’s played a lot of football, I just tend to be a little more conservative with him, that’s all.”

Brockers admits that he didn’t want to miss training camp and is focused on getting his technique right over the next two weeks. 

“I didn’t want to miss training camp, it was unfortunate, but for me, taking these practices and putting everything into them as far as teaching and learning and my technique and all that and just be ready for Game 1,” Brockers said.

Regarding Lions’ second-round DE Levi Onwuzurike and third-round DT Alim McNeill, Brockers said both rookies are “coming along” with their development. 

“Those two guys are coming along,” Brockers said. “Alim, he was a guy who right off the bat was working with the ones. So, that tells you about his talent and where he is. Same thing for Levi, he’s coming along as well.”

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