NFL

Todd Bowles says 'there's no definitive date' for Tom Brady return

By Sports Desk August 18, 2022

Last Thursday, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles said Tom Brady was taking some planned time off and was scheduled to re-join the team after their preseason game against the Tennessee Titans on Saturday.  

A week later, Bowles admitted he didn't know exactly when the future Hall of Fame quarterback would return. 

"We'll see. We'll talk about it next week," Bowles said, via The Athletic. "I'm 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. We'll keep in touch and find out."

That update seemed to contrast what Bowles said a week ago, when he revealed Brady left training camp to "deal with some personal things" and implied everything was worked out. 

"This is something we talked about before training camp started," Bowles said last Thursday. "We allotted this time because [Brady] wanted to get in and get chemistry with the guys and go through two weeks of training camp."

Brady was not slated to play in Tampa Bay's first preseason game against Miami last weekend or the Titans matchup, so the absence isn't entirely shocking for a 45-year-old quarterback who has had plenty of practice reps over a pro career that began in 2000. 

However, Bowles' uncertainty as to when his first-choice QB will return is somewhat curious. 

Brady famously retired briefly this past offseason before announcing in mid-March that he would return for a third season with Tampa Bay and 23rd in the NFL after leading the league with a career-high 5,316 passing yards in 2021, while also ranking first in passing touchdowns with 43.  

He led the Buccaneers to a 13-4 regular-season record and NFC South crown last year, but their season ended with a 27-20 loss to the eventual Super Bowl-champion Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs. 

Tampa Bay begins this season at Dallas on September 11, and Bowles said last week Brady's absence would not affect the seven-time Super Bowl champion's availability for the opener. 

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