Don’t look to New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick to clear up the question of whether Tom Brady had a concussion during the 2016 season.
Belichick added nothing to the conversation in his first public comments on the matter Tuesday. “We file injury reports every week,” he told reporters at the team’s mandatory minicamp. “So I’m not sure when the next one’s due, probably sometime in September, but we’ll have one for you then.”
Belichick added that the “medical staff really handles the injury situation with players. Players don’t come to me and I don’t treat them for injuries. That’s not really my job. That’s what we have medical staff for.”
The question of Brady’s health and the transparency of NFL injury reports became issues when the quarterback’s wife, Gisele Bündchen, told “CBS This Morning” last month that he had a concussion last season and has had others.
“I just have to say, as a wife, I’m a little bit — as you know, it’s not the most, like, let’s say, unaggressive sport, right?” she said. “Football, like he had a concussion last year. He has concussions pretty much. I mean, we don’t talk about — he does have concussions. I don’t really think it’s a healthy thing for your body to go through, through that kind of aggression, like, all the time. That cannot be healthy for you, right? I’m planning on him being healthy and doing a lot of fun things when we’re like 100, I hope.”
Brady’s name never appeared on injury reports that were submitted to the league last season and his agent, Don Yee, denied that he was diagnosed with a concussion or head injury. Brady’s name did, however, appear on the report several times for knee, thigh and ankle injuries. He missed no playing time other than the four-game suspension he served for Deflategate.
“We have reviewed all reports relating to Tom Brady from the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants and certified athletic trainer spotters who worked at Patriots’ home and away 2016 season games as well as club injury reports that were sent to the league office,” the NFL said in a statement on the matter. “There are no records that indicate that Mr. Brady suffered a head injury or concussion, or exhibited or complained of concussion symptoms. Today we have been in contact with the NFLPA and will work together to gather more information from the club’s medical staff and Mr. Brady.
“The health and safety of our players is our foremost priority and we want to ensure that all our players have and continue to receive the best care possible.”
Asked about concussions in 2015, Brady told WEEI, “I’d really not like to get into that.” Last year, he showed an increased awareness, like many NFL players, of how repeated hits to the head can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
“It’s a very important topic. If you are going to put yourself kind of in the line of fire, so to speak, you better educate yourself,” Brady told ABC. “I think there’s been more awareness from the general media on what CTE is, how it affects you, the long-term ramifications of it. I think, as an athlete, you have to take all those things into consideration. Learning what it’s about, gaining more information, implementing the right protocols, give it the right treatment protocols, and try to be as proactive as you can. That’s what I believe in.”