The New England Patriots are set to host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL’s season opener on September 10.
Whether that game will include Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has yet to be determined.
While we wait to hear the fate of the quarterback’s appeal stemming from a four-game suspension levied against him by the NFL, there are two groups of people. One wants Brady’s suspension reduced or lifted. The other side wants to see it upheld . The Steelers actually happen to fall into the category of folks who sit in Brady’s corner.
“The competitor in you wants to see the best team out there and why not beat Tom Brady in Gillette Stadium on a Thursday night game?’’ defensive end Cam Heyward told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette.”
However, Heyward and some of his teammates do realize it would be easier to win without Brady in the picture.
“We might have a better chance, but when you look at playing these teams and seeing them in the playoffs you want your guys to be ready to go into that situation,’’ Heyward said. “So if guys can prepare against playing against the best early, it’s going to help us later down the road.”
In order for Brady to be part of Heyward’s butt-kicking plans, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would have to decide to retract the quarterback’s entire four-game suspension. If that is not the case, then Brady and the NFLPA have threatened to take his case to federal court. A court injunction may make Brady available to play in the opener, which also serves as another celebration for the Patriots’ victory in Super Bowl XLIX.
Photo: USA Today Sports