Tom Brady played at a high level through the last 12 weeks of the 2016 season and the Patriots’ Super Bowl run. According to his wife, Gisele Bundchen, he did so despite suffering a concussion at some point during the year.
Bundchen said during an interview with CBS’ Charlie Rose that concussions were part of the reason she pushed Brady to retire following the 2016 season. She mentioned that Brady had suffered one last year:
The NFL released a statement Wednesday saying that the reports relating to Brady from the independent spotters and neurotrauma consultants stationed at games.
“There are no records that indicate that Mr. Brady suffered a head injury or concussion, or exhibited or complained of concussion symptoms,” the statement read.
The league said it will continue to work with the NFLPA to review the matter.
“As you know, it’s not the most unaggressive sport,” Bundchen said. “Football — like, he had a concussion last year. He has concussions pretty much — we don’t talk about it, but he does have concussions.”
Brady was sidelined for the first four weeks of the season to serve a suspension for his role in the Deflategate controversy. Once he returned to the field for the New England Patriots, he threw for 3,554 yards and 28 touchdowns against just two interceptions.
He did show up on the team’s injury report four times down the stretch but was listed as questionable with knee and thigh injuries. There was no mention of a concussion. Brady has never missed a game for a concussion in his career.
During a 2015 interview with Boston’s WEEI-FM, Brady declined to admit how many concussions he has had.
"I'd really not like to get into that," Brady said.
Brady also took a questionable stance on head trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy last spring.
"It’s just part of life, you know, not only football, but contact sports," Brady said, via ABC’s Michael Rothman. "It’s part of people walking down the street. You run, you fall, you hit your head.”
But Brady did acknowledge the importance of getting appropriate medical care for a concussion.
"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," he said. "I think, as an athlete, you have to take all those things into consideration and try to be as proactive as you can. Gain information, then go through the proper protocols if you do get a concussion."
Bundchen has good reason for being concerned about the lasting effects of any concussions Brady may have suffered during his career. CTE is a debilitating neurological disease with symptoms including memory loss and severe depression.
It’s reasonable for Bundchen to want her husband to live a long, happy, and healthy life.
“I am planning on having him be healthy and do a lot of fun things when we’re, like, 100, I hope,” Bundchen said.