Todd Bowles: Tom Brady won’t return until after second preseason game

Sport

It turns out Tom Brady will be away from the team for more than just a few days.

After reports indicated earlier on Thursday Brady had an excused absence from Buccaneers training camp to deal with a personal matter, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters in his press conference that Brady will remain away from the club through Tampa Bay’s second preseason game on Aug. 20.

“Tom has been excused today. He’ll be taking — he’ll be back somewhere around after Tennessee. He’s going to deal with some personal things,” Bowles said. “This is something we talked about before training camp started. We allotted this time because he wanted to get in and get chemistry with the guys and go through two weeks of training camp, knowing he wasn’t going to play the first two games. He didn’t want to take away reps from Blaine [Gabbert] and Kyle [Trask] as well as ‘Griff’ [Ryan Griffin] as far as going into these next two games. And it’s something he needs to handle.

“We trust him. We talked about it. It was scheduled way before training camp and he will not be here until after Tennessee.”

Bowles said he would be more concerned about the offense and its progress if Brady didn’t have the years of experience and the quarterback’s work ethic. He also would not delve further into why Brady will be absent, other than to say it’s a “personal issue.”

Bowles also noted that he has a “pretty high” level of confidence that Brady will return and be ready for the regular-season opener on Sept. 11.

Because Brady made reference to not making the “competitive commitment” to playing in his retirement announcement back in February, Bowles was asked if he was worried that could be an issue that might keep Brady away for a longer period of time.

“Per our conversation, I am not worried, no,” Bowles said.

Brady, who turned 45 on Aug. 3, is entering his third season with the Buccaneers after 20 seasons with the Patriots. He led the league in attempts, completions, passing yards, and passing touchdowns last year. He ended his 40-day retirement on March 13 to re-up with Tampa Bay for 2022.