New England Patriots

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during pregame warm-ups before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on September 26, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Tom Brady sat down for his much-anticipated press conference before the game against his former team and he looked like death.

A hoarse-sounding and sickly-looking Brady spoke to reporters on Thursday ahead of the Patriots’ clash with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night. Without speculating too much, it’s obvious that Brady is dealing with something in his throat. And visually, he didn’t exactly look fresh-faced. either.

“I’ve had a few of these days, i don’t know what the deal is,” Brady said when asked about his voice. “i’ve got to try to figure this out. I said my throat is more tired than my arm, imagine that.”

(Brady starts at 8:25)

No matter what happens in Sunday’s game, Brady’s frail appearance is now going to be part of whatever narrative people want to build. If the Bucs win and Brady lights it up, No. 12 gets to match Michael Jordan’s “flu game.” If the Bucs lose, well, the Tampa Bay faithful have their excuse. That’s just two of the directions this thing could take.

Technically, if you believe the reports, Brady already had a “flu game.” He reportedly battled a 103-degree fever before the 2004 AFC Championship Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Brady was 14-of-21 for 207 yards and two touchdowns in that game – a 130.5 passer rating.

But clearly, Brady has to manage something heading into Sunday against the Patriots. Even if it’s just a bout with laryngitis, that would have a chance to affect communication between him and the Bucs offense. They’d better hope to have their silent snap counts on-point.

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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at