LA Rams pass rush could terrorize Tom Brady in Divisional Round
By Bret Stuter
Even as the LA Rams prepare to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, the Buccaneers are addressing more important matters. Like what? Like trying to get healthy in time to take on the visiting Rams. And based on the latest injury report, the Bucs have their work cut out for them.
Right now, Buccaneers’ Pro Bowl offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs is nursing an ankle injury suffered at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles, and yet to practice. Beyond that, Bucs’ Pro Bowl offensive center, Ryan Jensen, is also fighting off an ankle injury after the Eagles game. He too has not practiced yet. Even Bucs’ backup offensive tackle Josh Wells is playing through the pain of a Pectoral Muscle injury. He backs up Wirfs, and he has been limited in both practices this week.
It’s the playoffs. That is just how things go after a 17-game season and a Wildcard Round in the rearview mirror. Players get banged up. Some will play through the pain. Others will not. Yet even those who tough it out and suit up will suffer the effects of playing at less than 100 percent.
Injuries and postseason play
Injuries are part of the violent nature of professional football and are why NFL players are required to wear safety gear like helmets and shoulder pads. But even protective gear is not foolproof. If there was such a thing as no-injury protective gear, you can bet that every NFL head coach would be lobbying hard to the team to purchase it, and to his players to wear it.
Still, some players manage to avoid serious injuries. Quarterback Tom Brady, a veteran of 20 years in the NFL is one such player. The point could be argued that the NFL referees are particularly protective of Brady. They tend to throw penalties upon defensive players for roughing the passer when there is no foul. If you need proof, just review the Wildcard Round and watch Eagles defender Derek Barnett get flagged for contacting Brady as he threw the football, at his hip, and immediately hold up and help Brady from falling. Touch Brady too often? 15-yard penalty.
In fact, the NFL has instituted a new rule, a.k.a. ‘The Brady Rule’ that has simply become the ‘You can’t hit Tom Brady‘ rule. So the secret is getting to Brady quickly, but not too violently. Right now, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trying to stitch together an offensive line that can keep Brady fairly well protected in the pocket.