In his 23rd season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ QB Tom Brady showed in Week 1 against the Cowboys that he still has the ability to play at a high level.
But his desire to continue doing so requires special measures and attention that he has never given himself before.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport says Brady will be taking it easy this season as the three-time MVP will take every Wednesday off as Veteran’s Day for personal and recreational reasons.
Brady had taken time off this past Wednesday, with the Bucs listing it as a day off.
Veteran days are relatively common among the NFL’s senior elite talent, but Brady may need to take extra advantage of those days.
The 45-year-old mentioned in his ‘Let’s Go!’ Podcast that the hits in the Cowboys game might be taking their toll on his body despite only being sacked twice.
“When you’re 45, your body changes a lot. So what am I dealing with now? I woke up today and said, “Holy shit, there were a few hits,” Brady said on the capsule.
Later in the week things seemed to have improved as Brady told reporters: “I’m feeling great today. Yes, I feel great.”
Brady has been known to occasionally take Thursdays off during the regular season, but he has never committed to taking a day off each week.
The QB won’t be the only one getting veteran days off, according to Tampa Bay coach Todd Bowles.
“It’s important for most players,” Bowles said Friday in reference to practice time. “But I think if you play a certain amount of time in the league and prepare in a certain way, there’s no need to practice that guy all the time.
“You will practice, but you will not practice all the time. You’ll get a day off here and there because it’s a long season.”
This season may already be physically challenging the greatest quarterback of all time, as Brady mentions on the podcast that he’s just taking things day by day.
“You look at your arm and you’ve got bruises, you’ve got cuts and you’re like, ‘Okay, how much longer do I want to make this commitment?'” Brady told Grey.
“And I’ve obviously committed for this year and everything will be the same as always – continuing to evaluate all these different aspects of playing.”
“I think for me I’ll just take it day by day and evaluate it when it comes,” he continued.