Buccaneers remain unsure when Tom Brady will return to the field

"Not concerned about it right now."

Tom Brady
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady during an NFL football training camp practice. AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles still doesn’t know when Tom Brady will return to the team.

He claims that’s okay.

“We’ll see,” Bowles said when asked about Brady’s status on Thursday, per ESPN. “We’ll talk about it next week. Not concerned about it right now. We’re trying to practice against Tennessee and play a game. I said ‘sometime after Tennessee.’ There’s no definitive date for me. But we’ll check on it, we’ll keep in touch and we’ll find out.”

Brady left the team on Aug. 11 to deal with “personal things” — currently undisclosed to the public. The earliest the former Patriots star could return would be Aug. 22.


The Buccaneers say Brady’s absence was always part of the plan before 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,” Bowles said.

The last few months have been tumultuous for Brady. Per Ben Volin of The Boston Globe, Brady planned to retire and join the Dolphins front office with the possibility of returning to the game to play quarterback again, but he shuffled his plans when former coach Brian Flores went public with allegations of tampering, discrimination and tanking by Dolphins ownership.

As noted by ESPN, Brady took time away from the Patriots in 2018 during OTAs, but OTAs are optional. It is rare for an NFL team to grant time away from the team during preseason.

Still, as NBC Sports writer Peter King noted, Brady has earned special treatment at this point in his career.

“Brady has so much currency in the bank with coaches and teams regarding dedication to the job and devotion to his craft that when he comes to the Bucs and says he needs 10 days away, my response would be: ‘Take more if you need it,'” King wrote. “… I don’t care to speculate on what it might be. He deserves the right to call his shot here and to keep the reason to himself.”


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