Opening Day Injury Ends Season for Tom Brady
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is out for the season with a left knee injury that will require surgery.
The 2007 NFL Most Valuable Player will be placed on injured reserve, the Patriots said today, one day after his knee was injured in the first quarter of a 17-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
A statement issued before coach Bill Belichick’s news conference said Brady will have surgery, ending his 128-game starting streak, the third longest for a quarterback.
Brady left yesterday’s game against Kansas City after he was hit by Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard. Brady was not available for comment, but reports circulated around the league that he had torn his anterior cruciate ligament.
“We feel badly for Tom about the injury,” Belichick said while not confirming the exact injury . “You hate to see anyone go down. No one has worked harder or done more for this team than Tom has.”
Matt Cassel, who guided New England to its 20th straight regular-season win after Brady was hurt, will start Sunday at the New York Jets.
“As a team we all just have to do our jobs,” Belichick said. “That really doesn’t change.”
But Brady’s injury surely changes the complexion of the AFC, where the Patriots, winners of three Super Bowls since 2001 with Brady as their quarterback, were a strong favorite. Cassel’s first true game experience came against the Chiefs.
“I’m not trying to be Tom Brady. I’m just trying to be Matt Cassel,” he said when subbing for Brady on his regular weekly radio show. “I don’t know where that’s going to take us.”
Cassel, who even was a backup at Southern California — to Heisman Trophy winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart — could have some competition. A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that former Tampa Bay quarterback Chris Simms was heading to Foxborough today for a physical, and reports elsewhere said Tim Rattay was also being considered.
Belichick, who runs one of the most secretive operations in the league, denied the team reached out to any other quarterbacks.
“In spite of what some people are putting out there, we haven’t worked out anybody,” he said. “We had a lot of people call us, I can tell you that.”
For now, Cassel is his quarterback.
“The opportunities that Matt got, experience always helps,” Belichick said.