Football fans have spent nearly 30 years watching Pittsburgh Steelers legend Terry Bradshaw crack jokes, offer bizarre commentary, and serve as the butt of even more jokes on Fox NFL Sunday, the network’s popular pregame show.
Those same fans and media contemporaries have expressed concern regarding Bradshaw’s recent absences from Fox Sports’ studio shows. If the four-time Super Bowl champion isn’t on Fox’s shows in the near future, we have an answer as to why.
Terry Bradshaw recently underwent knee surgery and missed Fox Sports’ NFL shows
At 73 years old and with parts of 14 NFL seasons under his belt, Bradshaw is no stranger to surgery and medical procedures. Under the name “Tom Brady,” the legendary quarterback checked into a Louisiana hospital to have his elbow repaired in 1983. A quarterback with the same name made his NFL debut 17 years later.
Yet another surgery forced Bradshaw to miss the Oct. 24 episode of Fox NFL Sunday. Host Curt Menefee explained during the broadcast that the two-time Super Bowl MVP recently had a knee operation.
It is not known which knee Bradshaw had surgery on. He had his right knee replaced in December 2015.
As of publication, Fox Sports had not announced a timetable for Bradshaw’s recovery or if he will contribute to the show in a remote capacity. Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson, a longtime in-person panelist, has primarily appeared remotely since the start of last season.
Bradshaw still had fun at his colleague’s expense during the broadcast. He texted Menefee thoughts on the show and took lighthearted shots at Fox Sports teammate Michael Strahan.
Bradshaw’s absence is not related to his viral Erin Andrews comments
Because neither Bradshaw nor Fox had announced his surgery ahead of time, 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, believed the network suspended Bradshaw after his Oct. 14 comments about Fox Sports teammate Erin Andrews. The veteran sideline reporter profiled Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White, who owns horses, and spoke with him in a barn.
When the interview finished, Andrews asked Menefee, Bradshaw, Mark Sanchez, and Jay Glazer when they first rode a horse. After answering the question, Bradshaw complimented Andrews on her looks.
“You got your cowboy boots on and your shirt. You’re looking good. That was nice. I enjoyed that interview.”Terry Bradshaw
Bradshaw did not apologize for those comments, and Andrews did not address them publicly.
Greg Olsen and Mark Sanchez have gotten more airtime in Bradshaw’s absence
In the four seasons Fox has had Thursday Night Football rights, Bradshaw has contributed as an on-set pregame analyst each week. Given his knee surgery, that obviously couldn’t happen in Week 8.
Sanchez and former Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, both of whom are color commentators on the Sunday games, filled in for Bradshaw on Thursday, Oct. 28. It is not yet known if both will continue contributing to the Thursday night pregame going forward.
Olsen and Sanchez are each in their first year at Fox. Sanchez, who pulled off a miraculous feat in leading the New York Jets to consecutive AFC Championship Game appearances, previously did studio work at ESPN.