For the first time in his NFL career, Tom Brady appears to be taking advantage of his status as the greatest quarterback of all time and using some PTO.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Brady will receive a "veteran's day" off from Wednesday practice throughout the 2022 season. This continues a trend that began in training camp when Brady took 11 days off for a family vacation in the Bahamas.
Rapoport reported the vacation was a product of a promise Brady made to his family during his brief retirement during the offseason. The Bucs have granted the 23-year veteran some understandable leeway given his stature around the league, and coach Todd Bowles said other veterans will get practice days off as well.
"I think when you play in the league a certain amount of time and you prepare a certain way, it's not necessary to practice that guy all the time," Bowles told reporters Friday. "You're going to practice, but you're not going to practice all the time. You'll get a day off here and there because it is a long season."
The Bucs are already one of the most injury-riddled teams in the NFL. They saw several injuries befall their offensive line during training camp, and they will go into Week 2 without Chris Godwin and with Julio Jones, Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette all listed on the injury report.
Tampa showed few ill effects of Brady's preseason absence in last Sunday's 19-3 win over the Dallas Cowboys. While the offense was not great, the Bucs protected the ball well and allowed their defense to overwhelm a scuffling Dallas offense.
Sunday will arguably provide a greater test, with the Bucs visiting the division-rival New Orleans Saints. The Saints are coming off a thrilling comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1.