Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles was noncommittal Thursday when asked by reporters about a return date for quarterback Tom Brady, who has been off the team since Aug. 11 to attend to “personal matters.”
When Bowles announced Brady would be stepping down, he said that Brady would be back in Nashville after the Bucs’ second preseason game at the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night, meaning Brady would not be available for training with the until Monday, August 22 at the earliest Team could return But Bowles didn’t give a clear return date, and on Thursday he said he wasn’t sure when Brady would actually return, even though Brady’s absence before training camp was planned weeks ago.
“We’ll see,” Bowles said on Thursday. “We’ll talk about it next week. I’m not worried at the moment. We’re trying to practice and play a game against Tennessee. I said ‘sometime after Tennessee’. There is no definite date for me. But we’ll check it out, we’ll keep in touch and we’ll find out.”
Brady has been given days off in the past, but this is the first time in 23 years that he has taken significant time off the team during training camp or preseason. He missed OTAs when he was with the New England Patriots in 2018 to spend more time with his family, but those drills are optional and happen in the spring, well before the regular season begins.
All of Brady’s absences from the Bucs in 2022 have been team-sanctioned, although it’s highly unusual for NFL teams to allow that kind of flexibility.
Bowles said he stayed in touch with Brady while he was off the team and said he was confident Brady would be his starting quarterback when the Bucs visit the Dallas Cowboys for the Sept. 11 regular season to open. Brady would be the oldest quarterback in NFL history to start a game in the regular season at age 45.
https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34419740/tampa-bay-buccaneers-coach-todd-bowles-noncommittal-tom-brady-return Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles noncommittal on Tom Brady’s return