Tom Brady is taking time away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to "deal with some personal things," head coach Todd Bowles told reporters Thursday, and the franchise isn't worried about his absence.
"Of course, we were going to let him do what he needs to do. He’s focused as ever. He’ll come back even more focused. It’s the least of our concerns," Bucs general manager Jason Licht told WDAE Radio on Thursday (h/t JoeBucsFan.com).
Brady isn't expected to return to the Bucs until after the team's second preseason game on Aug. 20 against the Tennessee Titans.
Bowles told reporters that Brady's absence was discussed ahead of training camp:
"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] going into these next two games, knowing it's something he needs to handle."
The only other times Brady has been excused this summer were Aug. 3 to celebrate his 45th birthday and Aug. 5. The team had Aug. 4 off.
The Buccaneers open the 2022 campaign on Sept. 11 against the Dallas Cowboys, and Bowles isn't concerned about the veteran signal-caller potentially missing that matchup.
"Obviously, there's always going to be doubt," Bowles told reporters, "but I have a pretty high level of confidence, yes."
Brady is returning for his third season in Tampa after spending the first 20 years of his career with the New England Patriots. He entered a brief retirement this winter, but decided to return to football, citing "unfinished business."
The Buccaneers certainly have bigger issues than Brady missing training camp, as Licht noted. For one, the team will be without starting center Ryan Jensen indefinitely due to a knee injury, and 24-year-old Robert Hainsey is in line to replace him.
The team's receiving group is also dealing with some injuries. Mike Evans is nursing a hamstring ailment, Russell Gage left practice with a leg injury this week and Breshad Perriman has also been injured for most of training camp.
The good news is the team still has about four weeks to put everything together for the regular season.