The New England Patriots plan to only pause the game and not stop it completely if Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady breaks the record on Sunday night, a team official told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Patriots are expected to “shortly recognize” Brady, who will need just 68 yards to set the record, if he hits the milestone, Schefter adds.
The act won’t match the celebration former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees received when he became the all-time passing leader in 2018, Schefter says. Brees’ family joined him on the field, and Hall of Fame president David Baker came to receive the football when the game was shut down completely.
However, the Saints played at home while Brady was on the road.
Sunday’s game marks the first time Brady will return to Gillette Stadium since leaving the Patriots in 2020. He and Bill Belichick helped create one of the most successful dynasties in NFL history, winning six Super Bowl titles and earning 17 playoffs.
Brady is likely to be greeted with heavy chants from Patriots fans on Sunday night, but admitted earlier this week that he doesn’t expect home fans to plead for him.
“I think they’re there to support their team and their team is the Patriots,” Brady told Jim Gray on their “Let’s Go!” podcast on SiriusXM. “And I’ll definitely have a lot of people cheering me on over the years, I know there probably will be, I’ll have a lot of family there and I’ll have a lot of friends who go to the game.
“The home crowd at Gillette’s is a great crowd. And I think they’re going to cheer for their team like I expect them to. And I think if they know anything about me, they’ll know I’m going out to try and watch the football game “So I think they will respect that from me. I certainly respect that they are there to pull for their team and that’s the way sport goes.”
Sunday’s game is at stake for both teams. The Patriots will fall to 1-3 this season with a loss, while the Bucs could drop to 2-2.