Tom Brady pleaded his case directly to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday, with a hearing to appeal his four-game suspension for the DeflateGate scandal lasting more than 10 hours.
There's no word on when Goodell will rule on the appeal, and if the penalty stands, Brady would miss the first four games of the season, including the highly-anticipated, nationally-televised Week 1 opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Or would he?
As the league awaits Goodell's ruling, speculation is growing that Brady could indeed be in uniform in Week 1 -- thanks to an assist from the courts.
ESPN's Adam Schefter, speaking on a Boston radio show on Tuesday, said, that Brady "doesn’t believe he did anything wrong. I believe that this is on path to go to the courts. If it goes to the courts, they are questioning the process. ... I think at that point in time he has a chance to have this completely lifted, not serve any games. And if that is the case, why would he not attempt to at least do that?”
Schefter goes on to say that Brady and his legal team could file for a temporary injunction, which could allow Brady to be in uniform for Week 1.
“You file for a temporary injunction so that Brady can end up playing in the opener,” Schefter said. “In talking to people who I have spoken to, and we will see how this plays out, there’s a real chance that Tom Brady will end up playing in the opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
On the one hand, that would seemingly help the Ravens by making the Steelers opener that much more difficult. On the other hand, Brady playing in Week 1 would enrage many fans who would perceive that the Patriots quarterback emerged unscathed from the DeflateGate scandal.
Of course, a temporary injunction might be, as indicated by its name, temporary. Any ultimate resolution later could result in a suspension -- or it could drag on through the courts with appeals and more appeals.
But Tom Brady in uniform against the Steelers seems to be a real possibility.