NFL Roundup: Tom Brady's Boot, LT's Pout, and Philip Rivers' Choice

John MeadusCorrespondent IJanuary 22, 2008

With all of the focus being put on "Brady's Boot," Primetime calling out LT about not playing in the big game, and Philip Rivers playing even more hurt then we thought—I have something to say.

First off, about Brady, I know that we have two weeks before the Super Bowl and people need something to talk about.

But come on.

He wouldn't be walking around New York City with the boot on if it were serious; he would be getting treatment and staying off of it. Instead, he's going to clubs in cowboy boots with his girlfriend.

Brady has been on the injury report every game for the past three years, get used to it.

Now, onto Primetime. Deion Sanders called out LaDainian Tomlinson for not playing in the AFC Championship game last Sunday.  LT started the game and got two carries and a reception on their first drive and then did not return to the game. LT said after the game, that if he was able to play he would have been out there. 

He also said that Michael Turner at 100 percent was better than him at anything less than 100 percent. I agree completely with LT. If he didn't feel that he could go out there and perform to the best of his abilities and felt that he was hurt that bad, then yes, he should have sat out and let Turner play.  

Now where does Deion Sanders get off saying these things to LT? Deion—the cornerback who once said that tackling is for linebackers—said that "big-time players must play in big-time games. It must be surgery for him to get a pass on this one."

I have nothing against Primetime, he was a great athlete and is very funny on the NFL network, but I think that this was uncalled for. LT has only missed one game due to injury in his career and has been carrying the load for the Chargers since he came into the league. Deion should take it easy on LT, considering he had more interceptions then tackles in his career.

Don't get me wrong, I do have beef with LT. The way he acted during the game was disappointing. I know that you're hurt and you're bummed that you can't be out there helping your team, but you can't just sit on the bench with your jacket and helmet on the whole game.

Be the leader and the face of the franchise that you are and support your teammates on the sidelines and try to help your team in any way you can. If that means standing on the sidelines and trying to find holes in their defense or even getting water for your teammates—then do it.  Don't pout on the bench the whole game LT, you're better than that.

Now, for Philip Rivers and what his teammates call the most courageous performance they have ever seen. Yes, that was a very gutsy performance that Rivers put out there when his team needed him most. No one outside the team knew he had arthroscopic surgery a week before the game. He played the game with basically no ACL at all, and now he's going to have surgery to fix the knee and will go through months of rehabilitation.

But was it smart? No doubt it was courageous, but now you're having the surgery that Carson Palmer and Donovan McNabb had. McNabb hasn't been the same since.

I feel that given the conditions in New England and the fact that he didn't have a great game, he shouldn't have been playing in that game. I know that Billy Volek isn't John Elway, but he did score the winning touchdown to get you into the AFC Championship.  I think Volek could have managed that game and done just as well as Rivers did. 

I'm taking nothing away from Rivers, but just ask guys like Donovan McNabb and Grant Hill who haven't been the same after this surgery, and then ask whether it was worth it to risk your career for one game.

I know the answer would be yes and that he'd do it again if he had the chance. That's what makes him the leader of this team that he is. But is also the reason you shouldn't be making the decision to play with no ACL.  Norv Turner should have played Volek and kept his QB of the future out. 

Players are very competitive and want to play no matter what, that's why the coach should have the final say.  Norv Turner now puts his star QB at risk of not being at 100 percent for the start of next year's training camp and the season.

That being said, Rivers' performance was one of the most courageous performances I have ever seen.  I think it will rank right up there with T.O. playing in the Super Bowl with the Eagles, Jordan playing in the NBA Finals against the Jazz with the flu, and even Kerri Strug winning the gold medal for the U.S. in the Olympics. Now I know that there are many more, but these are the few I've seen live.

Hopefully Rivers' courage doesn't jeopordize his future.