Tom Brady played through a concussion last year on his way to a fifth Super Bowl title, according to his wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen. The injury, which was not reported by the team, left her worried about how long he should continue to play football.
Asked if she wanted the New England Patriots quarterback to retire, Bundchen expressed concern "as a wife" in an interview on "CBS This Morning" that aired Wednesday.
“He had a concussion last year,” Gisele told “CBS This Morning.”
“I mean, he has concussions pretty much every — we don’t talk about it, but he does have concussions.”
However, the NFL put out a release Wednesday saying it had no record of Brady suffering a concussion, or of him reporting any symptoms. The league said it will team up with the NFLPA to look further into the matter.
In Bill Belichick’s 18 years as Patriots head coach, hardly a week has gone by during the season without him commenting on the importance of players' health to the team. Concussions are obviously a significant part of that concern.
The NFL’s concussion protocol has been evolving, with independent medical officials placed on sidelines during games. Those officials have the authority to pull players who show signs of a concussion. That happens most often on obvious hits. This setup takes concussion reporting out of the team’s or player’s hands during games.
Moreover, Gisele isn’t exactly qualified to diagnose concussions, and her statement is so vague (“we don’t talk about it”) that it’s clear this won’t go anywhere.
But concussions also can happen on less obvious plays, even in practices, and there are times when the onus falls on players to report symptoms of a concussion. Once a player does that, there is a league-specified protocol that all teams must follow.
So, from a big-picture standpoint, it's possible that several teams around the NFL have players who have suffered unreported concussions because the player didn't report it to the medical staff himself.
It is still unknown whether Brady ever has reported symptoms of a concussion to the team.