Speaking for the first time publicly since going down in pain during a joint practice with the Buccaneers last Wednesday, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady downplayed the severity of the injury to his left knee, which did not keep him off the practice field on Thursday or out of game action on Friday.
"I actually felt bad it caused more of a media story than it actually was worthy of, because I hate to draw attention to in that sort," he told the "Dennis & Callahan Show" on WEEI sports radio in Boston. "Because we were just trying to be smart."
The 36-year old went down after colliding with left tackle Nate Solder, who had been pushed backwards by Bucs defensive end Adrian Clayborn. Brady said that he was never frightened that the injury was serious, but after consulting with head coach Bill Belichick and medical personnel, they deemed it best to depart practice.
"I wouldn't say frightened, you're just wondering what happened, becuase I didn't obviosuly see anything," he said. "You just feel something and react and I went back in for really to finish the period out that we had going and then just talked to Coach Belichick and our trainer and we figured we'd try to be safe."
He added that the injury drew much more attention than it otherwise would have because it occurred during a public practice, with video of the play going viral after a fan captured it from the end zone bleachers.
"There were a lot of people at practice that were witnessing," Brady said. "If that was a Wednesday or Thursday practice during the regular season, you'd probably never hear about it.
"But it's obviously the nature of Twitter and all that social media stuff, but it happens on the practice field, it happens on the game field, you see so many injuries that have happened over the course of the preseason," he continued.
Brady returned to the practice field less than 24 hours after the injury occurred, wearing a protective knee brace that he has previously worn since suffering an ACL tear in the 2008 regular season opener. Brady showed no ill-effects of the injury on Friday night, completing 11-of-12 passes and throwing his second touchdown of the preseason.
He stressed the importance of playing in preseason games, despite the exposure to the risk of an injury -- to his knee or any place else.
"There's risk of injury in practice, there's risk of injury driving down to the stadium in the morning," he said, before adding: "It's your only game prep. I haven't taken a hit in eight months. It's just hard to say, 'let's just see what we have against Buffalo.' You've got to put it in, you've got to see where you're at in terms of game speeds, in terms of reads. Things are different in a game."
The Patriots open their regular season schedule with a trip to Buffalo on Sept. 8. They'll travel to Detroit this week to face off with the Lions in preseason action on Thursday night.