“I saw the play happen. You never like to see anyone get hurt out there. Football is a contact sport. It's part of football. The reality is my career started when Drew [Bledsoe] got hit on the sideline. Drew was running for a first down and the defensive players, they are very fast and physical. Actually, I had a play like that up in Buffalo early on in my career. I was scrambling up the right side and tried to hold on to the ball and I tried to slide late. A guy hit me and my helmet flew off about 10 yards away. It kind of riled up their whole sideline.
"I remember the next day, Coach Belichick said to me, and I will never forget this, he said, 'Hey Brady, if you want to have a career in this league, when you're running like that you either throw the ball away or slide.' I will never forget Coach Belichick telling me that.
"I am kind of thinking of that. A lot of quarterbacks who do run, you are trying to make yards and it is great, but at the same time you are susceptible to big hits. Again, whether it is flagged or not, or a penalty, a lot of the rules have changed over the years, but from a quarterback's standpoint, I feel it is always best to try and be available to the team and take risk-reward and so forth. Again, nobody likes to see anyone get hurt out there. From my own experience, I try and do my best to avoid any big shots like that.”
Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones hit Allen with a brutal helmet-to-helmet shot in the fourth quarter when the Bills signal-caller was going down on a run. Bills coach Sean McDermott told reporters after the game he felt Jones should have been ejected for the hit.
Senior VP of Officiating Al Riveron told reporter Vic Carucci that the hit did not warrant an ejection.
"Well, we looked at it, and in this situation, we didn't feel that that contact rose to the level of an ejection," Riveron said. "The player actually turns. Obviously, there is helmet contact, but we have standards for an ejection, and this did not rise to that standard; therefore, we did not eject him. There was a foul called and obviously the penalty stood, but we did not feel this contact rose to that level."
Jones said he did not attempt to hit Allen in the helmet intentionally.
For his part, Brady has no documented concussions. However, his wife Gisele Bundchen said on CBS This Morning in 2017 that Brady has had a "few" during their relationship. Brady's agent, Don Yee, then told ESPN's Adam Schefter (h/t CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson) the quarterback was never diagnosed with a concussion.
Brady and Allen play vastly different styles of football, so it would be hard for Allen to stay as remarkably healthy as Brady. However, he should probably heed the lesson Belichick gave Brady years ago and learn when it's time to slide.