Cameron Brate was a fixture at workouts with quarterback Tom Brady and at least a dozen Bucs teammates this spring and summer at Berkeley Prep.
He ran routes, caught footballs and sweated through two hour practices at least twice a week.
Even after a Bucs assistant coach and at least one player tested positive for coronavirus and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith asked players around the league to stop such unsanctioned practices, Brady and several Bucs players continued the workouts. In fact, Brady went to Instagram and tweeted a quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
It turns out that Brate contracted the virus, although it’s unclear where or when. He also did not elaborate on his symptoms, although it is believed they were mild.
“Thankful to have fully recovered from COVID-19,” Brate wrote on Instagram. “Donating plasma is the next step and something many can do!”
Brate also taped a public service announcement for Bucs social media encouraging coronavirus survivors to donate plasma.
“The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect on our population and it continues to impact nearly every aspect of our lives,” Brate said. “But there’s an important way you may be able to help friends, family and our community as we battle this disease by donating plasma. If you were diagnosed with COVID-19 or tested positive with antibodies and fully recovered and are symptom free for at least two weeks, please consider visiting a local donor center. Simply go to Oneblood.org to find a convenient location, book an appointment or learn more. We’re all in this together and your donation can make a difference in someone’s life.”
With training camp starting up, Bucs veterans are getting tested twice. The first round started Tuesday, and another test is expected Thursday. Full results should be available by Aug. 1 or 2.
On Monday, Bucs rookie Ke’Shawn Vaughn became the first Bucs player to be placed on the new Reserve/COVID-19 list. While that does not necessarily mean he has tested positive, he could have been quarantined after having been in close contact with someone who has.