Tom Brady’s first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got off to a somewhat rocky start: He threw three interceptions over his first two games, two of his worst performances of a season that again will end in the Super Bowl. But Brady’s mind probably was elsewhere: His father, Tom Sr., told ESPN on Monday that he and his wife, Galynn, battled covid-19 at the start of the season, with Brady Sr. needing hospitalization near their home in Northern California.

Noting that the father of Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has been hospitalized with covid-19, Brady Sr. told ESPN’s Mike Greenberg that he, too, had been hospitalized with the disease “for almost three weeks” at the start of the regular season.

“We didn’t even see the first two games of the year,” Brady Sr. said. “The first two games I’ve ever missed in his career because I was sick as a dog and my wife was sick as a dog. So I put my heart out to Josh Allen being able to play under such circumstances with his father in the hospital. That’s an undue burden for anybody.”

Tom Brady Jr. addressed his parents’ health scare with reporters Thursday, saying they’re “doing great” and that they planned on attending the Super Bowl after making it to only one game this season. (That was Tampa Bay’s 38-3 loss to the Saints on Nov. 8, a game the younger Brady said “was pretty rough for all of us.”)

“I still obviously love going out there and competing,” the Bucs quarterback said. “But on the other side of that, there’s a lot of family things that are very important to me. Certainly the health of my parents is very important. Although I was far away, I had three sisters who were doing everything they could to help at the time, too.”

Brady Sr. said he had seen every one of his son’s games at Michigan and then in the NFL but was laid low by the disease.

“The first two games, when I was in the hospital, I didn’t even care if they were playing, much less missing a game,” he said. “It was a matter of life or death, just like if anybody goes into the hospital. It’s serious stuff, and Tommy fought through it.”

Brady Sr. said the health issues for him and his wife, a cancer survivor, are “in the rearview mirror. We’re healthy, we’re happy, and everything is good. … We’re just representative of 25 million Americans who’ve got this stuff so far. … For our family, starting out the season, football was the least important thing in the world.”

Allen’s father did not attend Sunday’s AFC championship game between the Bills and Kansas City Chiefs as he recovers from covid and pneumonia. He also missed the two playoff games that preceded Sunday’s game.

Brady Sr. recounted to Greenberg how he and his wife are feeling after a season that began with him in the hospital and ended with his son’s 10th trip to the Super Bowl.

“To be honest with you, we’re exhausted,” Brady Sr. said. “We’re playing every single play with them, with the team, and at the end of it you say, ‘Can you friggin’ believe it?’ We just can’t get our arms around the thing, that it keeps happening. It’s been a crazy year for so many reasons; not the least of it was the pandemic and the craziness of the scheduling.”