Buccaneers’ TE Cameron Brate was evaluated for a broken neck yesterday after exiting Sunday’s loss to the Steelers, and the tests came back negative.
The injury occured with just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter. Brate ran a short dig route across the middle and caught a pass from QB Tom Brady. He attempted to cut up field, but was met by Steelers LB Myles Jack. The two collided, with the top of Brate’s helmet making contact with the side of Jack’s helmet and facemask, and shoulder.
Brate landed on his back and attempted to roll himself up but stopped quickly and grabbed for his head. He planted his feet and stomped them quickly before grabbing for his head once more. Brate was met by medical staff, who attended to him for a few minutes before his facemask was removed and he was lifted via backboard onto the medical cart. As he left the field, he gave the crown a thumb’s up.
The team announced he had movement in all of his extremities, but he would still undergo tests for a broken neck. Ultimately, those came back negative, but given the location of the injury Brate will need to be evaluated further. The injury came at the worst time possible, as he suffered a concussion in Week 4 and had to miss Week 5 as a result. He had just returned from the concussion protocols ahead of Week 6.
Given that there are no fractures, our algorithm optimistically predicts this to be a Grade 1 injury, which means his Optimal Recovery Time will be one week. His Injury Risk will be High, though (21%) and his Health Performance Factor will be Below Average (54%).
This is the best case scenario for Brate, but again – given the location of the injury – he will have to be closely monitored ahead of Tampa Bay’s Week 7 matchup versus Carolina.