The entire state of Massachusetts skipped about four heart beats on Wednesday when Tom Brady went down and held his knee during a joint practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Opposing defensive end Adrian Clayborn absolutely demolished New England Patriots offensive tackle Nate Solder on the pass rush and knocked him into Brady. Fans in attendance all had the same terrified reaction, only to see their golden boy return to practice and then leave for an MRI, which came back negative.
Now it’s easy to see why half the world’s Patriots fans about died from heart attacks on Wednesday, but they’re forgetting the season they endured without Brady back in 2008 when New England still finished 11-5 with Matt Cassel under center. Even though Tim Tebow gets more love, Ryan Mallett is Brady’s backup and he’s 10 times the quarterback Cassel will ever be. So if Brady ever does miss significant time again, the Patriots are in good hands.
Brady is certainly a solid signal-caller, but the team not only survived without him five years ago, it won more games than 22 other teams with a guy who never even started a college game, much less an NFL contest. So don’t allow your entire being to ride on Brady’s health, which is a metaphor for the Patriots’ fragility overall. They’ll be fine, and look on the bright side — at least you don’t have to bank on Tebow.