The NFL says it is working with the players union to gather more information from the New England Patriots medical staff and star quarterback Tom Brady, whose supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen, said in a TV interview Brady suffered a concussion last season.
The Patriots never listed Brady on the injury report with a concussion or head injury last season.
“We have reviewed all reports relating to Tom Brady from the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants and certified athletic trainer spotters who worked at Patriots' home and away 2016 season games as well as club injury reports that were sent to the league office,” the NFL said in a statement.
“There are no records that indicate that Mr. Brady suffered a head injury or concussion, or exhibited or complained of concussion symptoms. Today we have been in contact with the NFLPA and will work together to gather more information from the club's medical staff and Mr. Brady. The health and safety of our players is our foremost priority and we want to ensure that all our players have and continue to receive the best care possible.”
An NFL Players Association spokesman deferred to a statement earlier Wednesday by executive director DeMaurice Smith, who told CSN Mid-Atlantic the union would “proceed with our process as we normally would for any player” and pointed out steps the NFLPA has taken in recent years to be proactive on player health and safety, especially concussions.
The NFL and NFLPA have a process under the collective-bargaining agreement to investigate possible deviations from concussion protocol. So, this amounts to a routine follow-up – albeit one involving a high-profile player who happened to be the central figure in the controversial Deflategate case.
Bundchen first brought up the claim in an interview with CBS This Morning when asked about her desire for Brady to retire soon.
“I just have to say, as a wife, as you know (the NFL) is not the most, let’s say, unaggressive sport. Football, he had a concussion last year,” she said. “He has concussions pretty much every…I mean we don’t talk about it. But he has concussions and I don’t really think it’s a healthy thing for your body to go through. You know, that kind of aggression all the time, that cannot be healthy for you. I’m planning on having him be healthy and do a lot of fun things when we’re like 100 I hope.”
Tom Pelissaro, USA Today