Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady recently confirmed to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times that he was diagnosed with COVID-19 not long after the team's Super Bowl parade.
The Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7, becoming the first team to win the Lombardi Trophy in their home stadium.
A few days later, they celebrated in a boat parade highlighted by a few memorable moments, most notably Brady tossing the Lombardi Trophy from his boat to one filled with Bucs wide receivers and tight ends.
Unfortunately for the NFL and the rest of the world, COVID-19 very much remains a factor in our everyday life, even though there are multiple vaccines available.
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians recently revealed his team is 100 percent vaccinated. Tampa Bay is the second team to publicly announce it has reached the 100 percent mark, joining the Atlanta Falcons.
Despite the vaccine being available and many players around the league getting it, Brady thinks COVID-19 will be a larger factor this year compared to the 2020 season.
“I think it’s going to be challenging this year,” Brady told Stroud. “I actually think it’s going to play more of a factor this year than last year, just because of the way what we’re doing now and what the stadium is going to look like and what the travel is going to look like and the people in the building and the fans.
“It’s not like last year, although we’re getting tested like last year. It’s going to be, I definitely think guys are going to be out at different points and we’ve just got to deal with it.”
Brady and the Buccaneers will open the 2021 NFL season Thursday night when they host the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay will begin its attempt to become the first team since Brady's New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004 to repeat as Super Bowl champions.