How Tom Brady’s teammates described his return from the Deflategate suspension

Tom Brady lifts the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime during Super Bowl 51.

While the end of the Patriots’ most recent season is “unequivocally the sweetest” to team owner Robert Kraft, the beginning was quite the opposite for the Super Bowl LI champions.

Quarterback Tom Brady sat out New England’s first four games of the regular season as punishment for his role involving the team’s allegedly deflated footballs during the 2015 AFC Championship game. In the 51st episode of NFL Network’s America’s Game, a few of Brady’s teammates recalled what it was like to see him return following the suspension.

“It was cool to see him,” wide receiver Julian Edelman said. “We haven’t see him in four weeks. We weren’t allowed to contact him.”


Brady kept busy during his NFL-imposed time off, as he and wife Gisele Bündchen took a vacation to Italy. According to Vogue, some of their activities included savoring a candlelit dinner at a local restaurant called Aurora on the island of Capri and riding a bright yellow scooter through the streets of Positano on the Amalfi Coast. But amidst all sightseeing, Brady reportedly found some time to sunbathe nude.

“I think he may have been in Italy getting pictures of himself taken, like naked and stuff,” Edelman said. “I don’t know, but he must have had his football out there. Eating spaghetti and throwing footballs. That’s what he does. If the spaghetti doesn’t have tomatoes because he doesn’t eat tomatoes. Or gluten.”


Brady returned to New England on Monday, October 3 after the Patriots had just been shutout to the Buffalo Bills in Week 4.

“He came in, and he gave everybody hugs,” Edelman recalled. “His face started turning red because everybody was looking at him.”

“I may have gave a Brady chant,” he said with a smile. “I don’t know. I don’t remember.”

In his first game back, the quarterback threw for 406 yards and notched three touchdowns against the Cleveland Browns. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower was particularly impressed with Brady’s 43-yard toss to Chris Hogan.

“Like, damn. I know that’s TB, but you don’t just miss four games and then come out and throw 40 yards like that,” Hightower said. “Whatever he was on, man, I guess I need to jump on that, too. It might’ve been the avocado ice cream.”


Brady’s awe-inspiring performances continued into Week 6, as he played his first game of the season at Gillette Stadium. Against the Cincinnati Bengals, he threw three touchdowns and totaled 376 yards. And the home crowd was loving it.

“The place was erupting,” running back LeGarrette Blount said. “He had this look in his eyes. He always has that look, but it was different this time. He had a posture like, ‘They want to suspend me for four games for something I didn’t do? We gonna see who gets the last laugh at the end of this season.'”

Brady and the Patriots would go on to complete their “revenge tour,” winning Super Bowl LI in historic fashion. Narrated by Sudbury-native Chris Evans, America’s Game: 2016 Patriots details the story of New England’s most recent season through the eyes of Edelman, Hightower, and Blount. It will premiere on Wednesday, September 6 on NFL Network at 9 p.m.