Tom Brady has been away from the Buccaneers for a week and there is no telling when he will be back. The star quarterback was released from training for undisclosed personal reasons and had apparently planned his extended absence prior to training camp. After initially saying Brady would be back after Saturday’s second preseason game, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters on Thursday that he doesn’t actually have a timetable for Brady’s availability, even with the regular season opener in just over three weeks.
“We’ll see,” Bowles said, per ESPN, when asked Thursday when Brady will return. “We’ll talk about it next week. [I’m] don’t worry about it now. We’re trying to practice against Tennessee and play a game. I said “somewhere after Tennessee.” There is no definite date for me. But we’ll check, we’ll keep in touch and we’ll find out.”
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Bowles added that he has stayed in touch with Brady since the quarterback began his absence on August 11. Bowles even goes into Brady’s availability for week 1, but underscores the growing mystery surrounding his absence, which is said to have nothing to do with health or family.
As ESPN noted, Brady has been given time off in the past, mostly because he’s aged, but this is the first time in his historic 23-year career that he’s missed so many consecutive days during training camp or preseason.
“This is something we talked about before training camp started,” Bowles said last week. “We allocated this time because he wanted to get in and get chemistry with the guys and go to training camp for two weeks knowing he wouldn’t play the first two weeks. [preseason] spell.”
Brady’s first excused absence came after a veteran’s scheduled day off on his 45th birthday. It also came just days after the NFL publicly disciplined the Dolphins, who proved Brady “unacceptable” recruiting while playing for both the Patriots and Buccaneers from 2019-2021. Brady is not being punished for alleged contact with Miami, although he did not dispute reports of a connection to the Dolphins earlier this summer.
It was a busy off-season for TB12, who retired from football after the 2021 season but abruptly announced his return to the Buccaneers less than 40 days later. Weeks after Brady’s return, head coach Bruce Arians withdrew from his position to facilitate Bowles’ promotion, effectively giving Brady even more offensive control.