As the NFL's COVID-19 vaccination rate continues to rise, one of the game's biggest names has revealed a prior bout with the virus.
During a recent interview with Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Tom Brady shared that he contracted COVID-19 shortly after the Buccaneers' Super Bowl LV championship boat parade in February.
The future Hall of Fame quarterback then shared a message of caution regarding the challenges he suspects teams around the league will face in terms of dealing with the virus this season.
"I think it's going to be challenging this year," Brady said. "I actually think it's going to play more of a factor this year than last year, just because of the way what we're doing now and what the stadium is going to look like and what the travel is going to look like and the people in the building and the fans.
"It's not like last year, although we're getting tested like last year. It's going to be, I definitely think guys are going to be out at different points and we've just got to deal with it."
To Brady's point, the Bucs currently have three players on the reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of their season opener against the Cowboys: defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh , and offensive linemen Nick Leverett and Earl Watson.
On the heels of the NFL and NFLPA agreeing to COVID protocols for the season, Bucs coach Bruce Arians announced Thursday that everyone in organization has been vaccinated, representing an encouraging step for the league as a whole as clubs continue to increase their vaccination numbers.
To date, only Tampa Bay and the Atlanta Falcons have announced 100% vaccination status.