Why did Steelers legend Terry Bradshaw recently miss Fox’s NFL pre-game show?
Football fans have spent nearly 30 years watching Pittsburgh Steelers legend Terry Bradshaw make jokes, offer bizarre comments and serve as a target for more jokes about Fox NFL Sunday, the network’s popular pre-game show.
These same fans and media contemporaries have expressed concern over Bradshaw’s recent absences from Fox Sports studio shows. If the four-time Super Bowl champion isn’t on Fox shows for the foreseeable future, we have an answer as to why.
Terry Bradshaw recently had knee surgery and missed Fox Sports NFL broadcasts
At 73 and with 14 seasons in the NFL under his belt, Bradshaw is no stranger to surgery and medical procedures. As “Tom Brady,” the legendary quarterback went to a Louisiana hospital for his elbow repair in 1983. A quarterback of the same name made his NFL debut 17 years later.
Another surgery forced Bradshaw to miss the Oct. 24 episode of Fox NFL Sunday. Host Curt Menefee explained on the show that the two-time Super Bowl MVP recently had knee surgery.
It is not known which knee Bradshaw was operated on. He had his right knee replaced in December 2015.
At the time of publication, Fox Sports had not announced a timeline for Bradshaw’s recovery or if he would contribute to the show remotely. Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson, a longtime panelist in person, has mostly appeared from a distance since the start of last season.
Bradshaw still had fun at his coworker’s expense during the show. He texted Menefee and took light photos of his Fox Sports teammate Michael Strahan.
Because neither Bradshaw nor Fox had announced his surgery in advance, many viewers took to social media and openly wondered why the Steelers great wasn’t on set.
Some, including former Miami Hurricanes star defensive tackle Dan Sileo, said the network had suspended Bradshaw after his Oct. 14 comments on Fox Sports teammate Erin Andrews. The veteran linesman introduced Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White, who owns horses, and spoke with him in a barn.
At the end of the interview, Andrews asked Menefee, Bradshaw, Mark Sanchez and Jay Glazer when they first rode horses. After answering the question, Bradshaw complimented Andrews on his appearance.
“You put on your cowboy boots and your shirt. You look good. It was good. I enjoyed this interview.
Bradshaw did not apologize for the comments and Andrews did not address them publicly.
Greg Olsen and Mark Sanchez got more airtime in Bradshaw’s absence
In the four seasons that Fox has had the Thursday night football rights, Bradshaw contributed weekly as a pre-game analyst on the set. Considering his knee surgery, this obviously couldn’t happen in week 8.
Sanchez and former Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, who are both color commentators on Sunday games, replaced Bradshaw on Thursday, October 28. It’s not yet clear whether the two will continue to contribute to Thursday night’s pre-game.
Olsen and Sanchez are each in their first year at Fox. Sanchez, who pulled off a miraculous feat leading the New York Jets to back-to-back appearances in the AFC championship game, previously worked in the studio at ESPN.
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