Early in the 2001 season, Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe received a heavy blow that nearly dislodged his lung. Later that season, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady received a blow that nearly knocked his head.
Jimmy Traina from SI.com Posted the video earlier today From the December 16, 2001 match between the Patriots and Foyles.
With New England leading 6-3 in a quarterback quarterback at 3rd and 17th, Brady is falling back. He moves to his right and then decides to run. Which for him has always been, basically, a race walk.
Just before he hits the line of scrimmage, Bills defensive back Nate Clements Brady lights up. The hit was clean, shoulder first, probably no helmet contact. But the collision caused Brady’s helmet to fly backwards.
Brady wakes up and acts like he’s fine, which is the standard approach for players who’ve done mental strokes in the years before the league did some on the spot scary kicks. And while a frame-by-frame crash review might lead to the conclusion that Clements never made contact with Brady’s head or neck area, a strike like that in the NFL today would result in a penalty and a dismissal.
Earlier this year, Brady said it was the hardest injury he’s ever received. It’s amazing to remember her.
By the way, the Patriots are still winning the game. They capped the season by winning their first out of six Super Bowls.