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Should Buccaneers fans be worried about more Tom Brady absences this summer?

Yardbarker logo Yardbarker 8/11/2022 Zac Wassink, Yardbarker
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady © Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady

If nothing else, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has certainly had the most unique offseason of his storied career this year. 

Brady somewhat surprisingly announced his retirement ahead of the Super Bowl but then returned to the Buccaneers roughly six weeks later. He subsequently agreed to join Fox Sports as its lead NFL analyst on a deal reportedly worth $375 million over 10 years whenever he calls time on his playing days. 

Most recently, Brady missed multiple practice sessions last week. He was excused from one for his birthday but was then attending "to a personal matter" on Friday. 

At the time, head coach Todd Bowles said that "we’ll let him do what he needs to do" and that "we’ll keep in touch and we’ll monitor that" regarding Brady's return. Per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, the story took a new turn on Thursday when it was reported Brady would miss "a few" additional days of practice because of a personal matter. 

It's now known that's not exactly the case. PFT's Myles Simmons notes that Bowles confirmed Brady will remain away from the Buccaneers through their second exhibition game at the Tennessee Titans on Aug. 20. Brady was always going to be a spectator for Saturday's preseason opener versus the Miami Dolphins before this development. 

"Tom has been excused today. He’ll be taking — he’ll be back somewhere around after Tennessee. He’s going to deal with some personal things," Bowles explained. "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 and go through two weeks of training camp, knowing he wasn’t going to play the first two games. He didn’t want to take away reps from Blaine [Gabbert] and Kyle [Trask] as well as ‘Griff’ [Ryan Griffin] as far as going into these next two games. And it’s something he needs to handle.

"We trust him. We talked about it. It was scheduled way before training camp and he will not be here until after Tennessee." 

According to Eric Edholm of the NFL's website, Bowles was understandably asked if he thinks the 45-year-old signal-caller will be good to go for the Week 1 matchup at the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 11. 

Video: Rapoport, Walsh: What Tom Brady's absence from Bucs until Aug. 20 means for Tampa Bay (NFL)

"Obviously, there's always going to be doubt," Bowles responded, "but I have a pretty high level of confidence, yes."

For a piece published on Wednesday, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe openly questioned if Brady "is truly committed to playing for the Bucs in 2022" considering all that's occurred since the team's playoff defeat to the Los Angeles Rams in January and the fact that he may have wanted to join the Dolphins as a player and front-office figure coming off that loss. 

"His children are becoming teenagers. He has a clothing company (Brady Brand), a fitness company (TB12), and an NFT company (Autograph.io76) to run," Volin wrote of Brady. "He has a standing deal with Fox Sports to become a broadcaster whenever he’s done playing. He was supposed to be an executive and limited owner of the Dolphins this year."

It's worth noting Brady has not publicly hinted since his unretirement that he's questioning pursuing at least one last Super Bowl ring with the Buccaneers. He has, though, previously suggested he could change his mind about his plans at the flip of a figurative switch. 

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