Con­cus­sions part ‘of our game,’ Brady says

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - SPORTS - JIMMY GOLEN

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady doesn’t worry about con­cus­sions and con­sid­ers them part of play­ing foot­ball, the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots quar­ter­back says in a tele­vi­sion in­ter­view to be broad­cast this week­end.

“I’m not obliv­i­ous to them,” Brady tells CBS Sun­day Morn­ing. “I mean, I un­der­stand the risks that, you know, come with ... the phys­i­cal na­ture of our game.”

Brady’s wife, supermodel Gisele Bund­chen, had said in a May in­ter­view that the quar­ter­back has had un­re­ported con­cus­sions and she wor­ried about his long-term health. A joint NFL and play­ers union in­ves­ti­ga­tion found this week there was no ev­i­dence that Brady or the team failed to fol­low the league’s poli­cies or pro­ce­dures on con­cus­sions.

A five-time Su­per Bowl cham­pion and twotime league MVP, Brady had one of his best sea­sons ever last year at the age of 39. Af­ter miss­ing the first four games to serve his “De­flate­gate” sus­pen­sion, he threw for 3,554 yards and 28 touch­downs with only two in­ter­cep­tions, lead­ing the Pa­tri­ots to their fifth NFL ti­tle by ral­ly­ing them from a 25-point deficit to the first over­time vic­tory in Su­per Bowl his­tory.

The net­work said co-host No­rah O’Don­nell in­ter­viewed Brady mul­ti­ple times, both at his sub­ur­ban Bos­ton home and at his TB12 Sports Ther­apy Cen­ter near the Pa­tri­ots’ sta­dium. Now 40, Brady re­peated his de­sire to con­tinue play­ing un­til he is 45 — some­thing no non-kicker has done in mod­ern NFL his­tory.

“I do want to go out on my terms,” he said. “I do want go out play­ing my best.”

The NFL has strug­gled to come to terms with the dan­ger of con­cus­sions and the life­time health risks they pose. The league this year agreed to pay as much as $1 bil­lion to for­mer play­ers who have been di­ag­nosed with post-con­cus­sion symp­toms that could in­clude the de­gen­er­a­tive brain dis­ease chronic trau­matic en­cephalopa­thy.

The NFL has also cre­ated game-day pro­ce­dures in an at­tempt to iden­tify con­cus­sions when they hap­pen and keep con­cussed play­ers from re­turn­ing to the game.

In light of a re­cent study that found CTE in the brains of 110 of the 111 for­mer NFL play­ers that were stud­ied, O’Don­nell asked Brady what he thought the ef­fect would be on the league.

“I don’t know what the fu­ture is go­ing to look like, you know, and I’m not go­ing to pre­tend to pre­dict it,” Brady says. “And I’m go­ing to do ev­ery­thing I can to take care of my body in ad­vance of the, you know, of the hits that I’m go­ing to take on Sun­day.”

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