Brady away from Bucs, dealing with ‘personal stuff’

Beyond the Box: Can we stop talking...
Beyond the Box: Can we stop talking about backup QBs already?

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TAMPA, Fla. — Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady will be away from the team for a period of time to “deal with some personal things,” coach Todd Bowles said Thursday.

Bowles said Brady’s absence was discussed beforehand and that he will return after next week’s preseason game against the Tennessee Titans on Aug. 20.

“This is something we talked about before training camp started,” Bowles said. “We allocated this time because he wanted to come 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 reps from Blaine [Gabbert] and Kyle [Trask]as well as ‘Griff’ [Ryan Griffin] going into the next two games knowing it’s something he’s going to have to deal with.”

When asked if the issue was health-related, Bowles said, “It’s a personal issue. That’s all I can tell you.”

Bowles said he has a “pretty high level of confidence” that Brady will be the starting quarterback in Week 1 with the Dallas Cowboys.

Bowles had previously announced that Brady would not play in the preseason opener Saturday against the Miami Dolphins.

Brady had excused absences on Aug. 3 — his previously scheduled day off and also his 45th birthday — and last Friday. The Buccaneers as a team were off last Thursday.

Bowles said he wasn’t concerned about missed time, largely because of Brady’s experience and work ethic. He said he doesn’t believe it will disrupt the offense’s progression, even as Brady has worked to gain chemistry with new teammates such as wide receivers Julio Jones and Russell Gage and tight end Kyle Rudolph.

When asked if he was concerned about Brady’s personal issue affecting his commitment to the team, Bowles said, “Through our conversation, I’m not concerned, no.”

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