Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles said Thursday that star quarterback Tom Brady will be away from the team attending to a personal matter until after an Aug. 20 preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.
Speaking after a joint practice the team had with the Miami Dolphins, a practice for which Brady had an excused absence, Bowles indicated that Brady's time away had been scheduled weeks ago.
"This is something we talked about before training camp started," Bowles said in a news conference. "We allotted this time because he wanted to get chemistry with the guys through the two weeks of training camp, knowing he wasn't going to play the first two games. ... We trust him. We talked about it. It was scheduled way before training camp and he will not be here until after Tennessee."
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Bowles added that he has a "pretty high level of confidence" that Brady would be starting for Tampa Bay in the regular season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 11.
Speaking during an interview with 95.3 WDAE, Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said Brady is "focused as ever, he'll come back even more focused and it's the least of our concerns."
Brady, 45, has had sporadic attendance at Buccaneers practice over the past week. On Aug. 3, his birthday, he had a veteran day. Two days later, he had an excused absence. He participated in Buccaneers practices on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the last of which was the first joint session with the Dolphins,
Brady is entering his third season with the organization and the Buccaneers have had steady continuity on offense.
"I don't think it stops it at all," Bowles said of the team's work on offense. "We have a system in place. We have guys we want to see. It gives us a chance to see backup quarterbacks and the receivers trying to make the team."
In 2021, Brady posted one of his most prolific seasons, throwing for a league-leading and career-best 5,316 yards. He also led the league in passing touchdowns (43), completions (485) and attempts (719). He finished second in voting for the AP Most Valuable Player award, which went to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Brady has had an eventful offseason. He announced his retirement from the NFL in February, only to reverse course a little more than a month later and announced that he would be returning for his 23rd season. Then, on Aug. 2, the NFL found that the Dolphins had impermissible contact with Brady in 2019 and 2022 while he was still under contract with the Patriots and Buccaneers, respectively, in a tampering scheme. The league stripped Miami of draft picks and suspended and fined owner Stephen Ross in response.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tom Brady away from Tampa Bay Buccaneers to attend to personal matter