TAMPA, Fla. — Despite experiencing some soreness in his right shoulder and finger that forced him to miss Wednesday’s practice, quarterback Tom Brady said he will play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons while the Buccaneers (2- 2) are trying to secure their first home win of the season.
“It feels great,” Brady said Thursday with a smile. “I’ll be there on Sunday.”
Brady suffered a shoulder injury on a sack by cornerback L’Jarius Sneed in the first half of the Bucs’ 41-31 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. He didn’t miss a snap in that game, but he seemed uncomfortable and at one point backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert was warming up on the sidelines.
However, for this Thursday, the injury did not seem to bother him. During the portion of practice that was open to the media, Brady went through his usual throwing routine without a hitch. And Wednesday has typically been Brady’s day off so far this season, although previously those days off were preventative, and he practiced on that day last week despite dealing with an injured right ring finger. He was listed as a full participant on the Buccaneers’ injury report.
Against the Chiefs, the Bucs were more like the offense that averaged 30 points per game this time last year, scoring four touchdowns after only three offensive touchdowns in the first three regular-season games this season. That was largely due to Brady getting the playmaker back from him. Rarely has Brady had all of his best receivers at his disposal this year in practice and games.
“That’s important,” Brady said. “I think we’re trying to get everyone out there so we can develop certain things and I think when you have those guys obviously there are great players that are going to make a lot of plays. So Mike is going to make a lot of plays, Chris is going to make a lot of plays. “We just have to keep doing it. I think 2-2 is not where we want to be. We have to do a lot of things much better.
“The more you get things together and work on things and do the replays and the practices and the games and the live competition, the better they’re going to be,” Brady said. “I just played with a lot of guys over a long period of time. This is only my third year with Mike. [Evans] and Chris [Godwin] especially, there are other players who — Cam [Brate]Leonard [Fournette]. There’s a lot to learn, you know, it’s a tough sport. There’s a lot of coordination that goes into, you know, an offense and defense and special teams and getting everything right.”
Evans returned from a one-game suspension and had two touchdowns in that game, and Godwin and Julio Jones were active after missing Weeks 2 and 3 with hamstring and knee injuries, scoring only the second time this season. season that Brady had all his reception. weapons, although Jones missed the second half after hurting his knee. Godwin’s back stiffened and in a moment the training staff was tending to him on the field.
Godwin and Jones practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and Thursday. Godwin said his back is “fine,” but after an eight-month recovery from a torn ACL/MCL, he said it’s been a process getting healthy and maintaining chemistry as a team.
“I think it’s tough when you’re trying to put together your offensive game plan when you don’t have everybody out there,” Godwin said. “Then you add on top of that, we’ve got a bunch of new faces, we’ve got new receivers, new offensive line. It’s just tough. But … it’s a long season and I think it can be very easy for people to overreact early in the season. year. But I think the most important thing for us is to keep working to build throughout the season, that’s what we’ve done for the last two years. You know, it hasn’t always been sunny, rainbows, at the beginning of the year. It just we get better and better slowly. You can’t build chemistry in one day or one game. It’s going to take some time.
“Guys are absent, like, not just in practice, but just in games. We’ve been beat up. On top of that, we’ve had new guys… You can’t make chemistry. Like the only way to get it is to build it day day in and day out. And it’s through making mistakes… you know, the good times and the bad times and understanding what Tom wants, what we like, what we’re looking for and how it works. All the meshes at the same time. And It’s going to take time and just patience. I tell the guys the same thing and we all understand it’s going to take some time.”
As for this week, Jones’ status is up in the air against the team he played 10 seasons for. Brate, who suffered a concussion against the Chiefs, is still in concussion protocol, which means the Bucs may have to rely on rookie Cade Otton in case Brate isn’t cleared. Wide receiver Cole Beasley, who signed with the team in Week 3, announced his decision to retire on Wednesday, which means there’s still another hole to fill.
“It’s important for us to win a home game against a team that is playing well and has a unique style and is a tough, tough team,” Brady said of the Falcons. “We have to play good football. We have to prepare well. 0-2 at home. That sucks. You know, that’s reality, so there are no excuses. We haven’t done the work, and it’s a production business here.”