TAMPA, Fla. — Tom Brady was excused from training camp on Thursday, the first day of what Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles said was a planned, 11-day absence from the team to address “personal things.”
Bowles said the 45-year-old quarterback's break from practice was arranged before camp began, adding that Brady won't return until after the Bucs' preseason game at Tennessee on Aug. 20.
“Tom has been excused today. ... He’s going to deal with some personal things. 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 with two weeks of training camp, knowing he wasn’t going to play the first two (preseason) games,” Bowles said after the Bucs concluded two days of controlled scrimmages against the Miami Dolphins.
Tampa Bay opens the preseason Saturday night against the Dolphins. The Bucs will also travel to Nashville for two days of practice ahead of their game against the Titans.
Backup quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert, Kyle Trask and Ryan Griffin will share snaps during Brady's absence.
“He didn’t want to take away reps from Blaine, Kyle, as well as Griff, as far as going into these next two games. That’s something he can handle,” Bowles said. “We trust him. We talked about it. It was scheduled way before training camp.”
Brady, who retired in February only to change his mind six weeks later, was also excused from practice for personal reasons last Friday — two days after getting a scheduled day off for his 45th birthday.
Bowles said his confidence level is “pretty high” that Brady will be in the lineup for next month’s regular-season opener at Dallas.
“Per our conversation, I’m not worried,” Bowles said.