Ben Watson apparently battled more than Father Time last season.
The New England Patriots tight end claimed in an Instagram story Friday he played through a torn Achilles during the 2019 season and thanked a body coach at Tom Brady's TB12 Sports Therapy Center for helping him play through the injury.
Watson didn't reveal when he suffered the injury, but he played in every Patriots game after making his season debut in Week 7. (He served a four-game suspension after failing a drug test, was released on Oct. 7 and re-signed with the team on Oct. 15.)
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While the 39-year-old tight end didn't contribute much in the passing game -- 17 receptions for 173 yards and zero touchdowns -- it's significant that he was even playing at all, considering he missed the entire 2016 season after tearing his right Achilles tendon in the preseason.
Watson's resilience -- and the fact that he sought treatment at the TB12 facility -- may explain why Brady had such heartfelt praise for the 15-year veteran following New England's Wild Card Round loss to the Tennessee Titans.
Watson strongly hinted at retirement following that game, and given that he apparently has to rehab a torn Achilles, it'd be difficult to fathom him returning for another NFL season.
Tom Brady may have left the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason, but New Englanders are still taking time to appreciate the elite 20-year career he had with the Patriots.
Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback in history. While some will argue that others belong in that conversation, Brady's success in the postseason is simply unparalleled.
Not only does Brady have the most Super Bowl titles and postseason wins of any quarterback in NFL history. He also has more second-half touchdown passes in Super Bowls than any other passer has in all their Super Bowl appearances combined, as the "Boston Sports Info" Twitter account pointed out on Sunday afternoon.
That's insanely impressive. But it also makes sense when factoring in Brady's record amount of Super Bowl appearances. Brady has been to nine Super Bowl during his career while no other quarterback has been to more than five (John Elway).
The Patriots will certainly miss Brady's presence as they attempt to get to the postseason for the 12th consecutive year. They'll likely be relying on second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham to be the starter, barring a surprise.
Meanwhile, Brady will attempt to get the Bucs to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. And he'll try to earn them their first Super Bowl victory since Jon Gruden led them to the promised land 17 years ago.
Tom Brady enjoyed so many incredible moments during his 20-year tenure with the New England Patriots, but it's hard to top Super Bowl LI vs. the Atlanta Falcons.
The Patriots' 28-3 comeback victory will forever be remembered as one of the greatest games in NFL history. While Brady has five other Super Bowl titles on his résumé, this particular one will always hold a special place in the hearts of Pats fans, and in the heart of Brady himself.
Now the new quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady posted a photo Sunday to his Instagram story of himself reliving one of his most memorable performances.
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Brady continued to share his live reaction to the game, starting with the mood of every Patriots fan when New England found itself down 21-3 at the start of the third quarter.
He did the same when the Falcons extended their lead to 28-3.
Then he gave a shoutout to his former receiver Danny Amendola, who came up clutch with several plays in the game.
And then another shoutout to linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who made the play of the game with his strip-sack of Matt Ryan early in the fourth quarter.
When the Patriots stormed all the way back to tie the game at 28 and send it to overtime, Brady pleaded for captain Matthew Slater to call heads for the coin toss.
When James White scampered into the end zone to clinch the unforgettable win, Brady couldn't contain his emotions.
It's only fitting that Brady's viewing of Super Bowl LI comes one day after Patriots fans celebrated the comeback on March 28 (3/28).