In this Feb. 9, 2006 photo, Tom Brady, left, hugs his father Tom Brady Sr. on the first hole at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament. Tom Brady Sr. revealed Monday he missed the first two games of the season, the first he has missed in his son’s college and NFL career, while he and his wife battled coronavirus. Ben Margot/Associated Press

 

Tom Brady’s first season in Tampa got off to a somewhat rocky start, as he threw three interceptions and compiled QBR marks of 40.3 and 44.8 over his first two games, two of his worst performances of a season that once again will end in the Super Bowl. But his mind likely was elsewhere: His father, Tom Brady Sr., told ESPN’s Mike Greenberg on Monday that both he and his wife, Galynn, battled COVID-19 at the start of the season, with Brady Sr. needing hospitalization.

Noting that the father of Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has been hospitalized with COVID, Brady Sr. told Greenberg that he, too, had been hospitalized with COVID “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.”

Brady Sr. said he has 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., who said he hoped to attend the Super Bowl, said the health issues for he 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 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, the first with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“To be honest with you, we’re exhausted,” Brady Sr. said. “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.”‘

CHIEFS: Starting left tackle Eric Fisher, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, suffered a torn Achilles tendon – typically a season-ending injury – early in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 38-24 win over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC championship game.

Fisher’s injury represents a significant blow, especially when considering the Chiefs have been without right tackle Mitchell Schwartz since Week 6 of the regular season. Schwartz remains on injured reserve with a back injury, and it doesn’t sound like there’s a lot of hope for the offensive lineman’s return in time to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7.

With Fisher down Sunday, the Chiefs shuffled their offensive line by moving right tackle Mike Remmers, who has filled in for Schwartz, to Fisher’s spot. Right guard Andrew Wylie moved to right tackle and Stefen Wisniewski entered the game at right guard.

Remmers joined the Chiefs last offseason on a one-year deal, and they brought back Wisniewski during the regular season.

BILLS: Buffalo slot receiver Cole Beasley revealed on Monday that he’s been playing the past month on a partially broken fibula.

He suffered the injury in Week 16 against the New England Patriots and missed the following game against the Miami Dolphins. Beasley returned for the Bills’ first playoff game and played in all three of Buffalo’s playoff games.

Beasley said there was no way he was going to miss the playoffs and decided he would figure it out, one way or the other.

“I broke my fibula but it’s nothing that needs to be surgically repaired,” Beasley said on Monday during his season-ending conference call. “It’s not a full break. It was bad the first game I played but after that you take a few meds and suck it up.”

Beasley led the Bills in receiving against the Chiefs, catching seven passes for 88 yards on nine targets.

STEELERS: Pittsburgh hired longtime NFL assistant Alfredo Roberts as its new tight ends coach. Roberts replaces James Daniel, who retired earlier this month after 17 seasons with the Steelers and 27 overall in the NFL.

Pittsburgh is the sixth NFL stop for Roberts. He spent the past four seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers, serving as running backs coach from 2017-19 before sliding over to tight ends coach this past season. Roberts previously coached for Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Tampa Bay.

Roberts, 55, joins an offense that’s in a bit of a transition following a first-round playoff loss to the Browns. The contracts for offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner and offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett were not renewed and their replacements have not yet been named. Roberts will also be working with a tight end group that will have a different look in 2021 after veteran tight end Vance McDonald announced his retirement last Friday.

Roberts played six seasons in the NFL from 1988-93, catching 48 passes for 450 yards and two touchdowns in his career with Kansas City and Dallas. He won a pair Super Bowl with the Cowboys in the 1992 and 1993 seasons before going into coaching.

COLTS: Indianapolis made it official Monday: quarterbacks coach Marcus Brady has been promoted to offensive coordinator.

He will become the NFL’s third Black offensive coordinator ( Kansas City’s Eric Bieniemy and Tampa Bay’s Byron Leftwich), replacing Nick Sirianni who took the Philadelphia Eagles head coaching job last week.

Brady had been the Colts quarterbacks coach each of the past two seasons after serving as Indy’s assistant quarterbacks coach in 2018. He spent the previous 16 seasons in the Canadian Football League – the first seven as a player, the last nine as a coach and six of those as the offensive coordinator with the Montreal Alouettes or Toronto Argonauts. Brady was part of Grey Cup championship teams in 2009, 2010 and 2017.

RAVENS: General Manager Eric DeCosta has already started making some of the tough decisions he believes can help Baltimore negotiate the leap from playoff qualifier to Super Bowl champion.

After releasing running back Mark Ingram and quarterback Robert Griffin III last week, DeCosta announced Monday that the Ravens won’t re-sign All-Pro long snapper Morgan Cox. The 34-year-old Cox was the initial component of a highly successful placekicking unit that includes holder Sam Koch and second-team All-Pro Justin Tucker, the most accurate field-goal kicker in NFL history.

Nick Moore, 28, comes at a cheaper price than Cox, who’s been sending the ball back between his legs for 11 seasons. Moore handled the job efficiently in a December game against Pittsburgh when Cox was on the reserve/COVID-19 list.


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