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Gronk running sprints, Brady ready for redemption against Bears

In a game defined by penalties and a meme, Tampa Bay lost to Chicago last year, 20-19. Time to flip the script in 2021.
Credit: AP
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) holds up four fingers thinking it was only fourth down after his teams final play of the game against the Chicago Bears during an NFL football game in Chicago, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. The Bears won the game 20-19. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)

TAMPA, Fla. — Tom Brady's career is littered with unbelievable moments, but one play in particular lives infamously on social media.

"It seems like a long time ago, but actually it wasn't that long ago," Brady said with a smile. "That hasn't happened very often in my career. For some reason, that happened at that moment."

With the Bucs 12-point favorites against the Bears inside Raymond James Stadium this weekend, there is a pretty good chance Brady and company exact revenge on Chicago for that 20-19 defeat in 2020.

"I think we learned a lot from that loss last year. A lot of self-inflicted issues," Brady said. "Penalties, not coming through in critical situations...you got to stress that and continue to stress that all the time."

Chicago is one of the best teams in the league at getting to the quarterback creating 3.5 sacks per game. That is tied with Minnesota for the most in the NFL. 

That means we might see Brady in a scramble drill a couple of more times, something he has been very comfortable with this season.

"Obviously, he's feeling better, right? Obviously, he's feeling something," offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich said with a laugh. "He scares the hell out of me. I ain't going that it scares the hell out of me."

Brady said, "You never know when those one or two plays -- ultimately, you're going to have to be out of the pocket and make a scramble play -- I think you just have to be ready. That's probably not the most natural thing for me, as we know, (but) I'm going to need to make those plays." 

Brady has rushed for 37 yards this season. That is the most since the 2017 season in New England, and there are still 11 games left.

We do not expect to see tight end Rob Gronkowski suit up on Sunday, but he was running sprints before practice. That is positive news as he makes a recovery from that ribs injury dating back to week 3 against the LA Rams..

Other players in question for Sunday are Lavonte David, Jason Pierre-Paul and Antonio Brown. Brown sprained his ankle against the Eagles and has not practiced all week. If he does not go, expect to see more Tyler Johnson.

For a full recap of the Eagles game, plus a breakdown of the Bears contest, check out this week's Locked on Bucs podcast episode with 10 Tampa Bay sports director Evan Closky:

Remember the matchup against Chicago is at 4:25 p.m. on Sunday. You can watch the game on 10 Tampa Bay.