Tom Brady returns to Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp after an 11-day absence

It’s unusual for players to leave during preseason training camp and head coach Todd Bowles said at the time Brady was given permission to “mind personal matters”.

However, Bowles said Brady mostly picked up right where he left off, insisting it was “probably just conditioning” that the seven-time Super Bowl champion missed.

“He was great,” Bowles told reporters via Yahoo. “He was great, just like when he left. He was fine. We pretty much keep distractions out of our locker room. It wasn’t a big deal for us because everyone knew what was going on.

“He’s a movie junkie – I’m sure he watched everything on tape. So he comes back, picks up where he left off, and just gets used to the mechanics again.

“He’s very familiar with offense so it’s normal for him to come back and we get back to work. I just have to get used to the heat and the guys, but he handled the offense well.”

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However, Bucs tight end Cameron Brate said “it was definitely weird” without practicing their star quarterback.

“Tom is such an omnipresent being, he’s like the undisputed leader of the team,” he said. “His absence for 11 days was a good opportunity for other guys to step up and fill that void.

“It was different, Tom usually scolds guys up and down when we screw up, but we didn’t really have that. It was different, but I thought some of the other veterans stepped up. I thought Blaine [Gabbert] did a good job commanding first-team offense while Tom was out.

“I’m sure wherever Tom was he was still training and getting his reps in. If anyone gets away with an 11-day break during training camp, it’s Tom. He came back and fired from all guns.”

Lineback Lavonte David added: “Obviously his presence is unique. He’s Tom Brady, so you know it when he’s not out there. But after the first few days or whatever has passed, we just went on with our regularly scheduled program, everyone going out to work.”

It’s unclear why Brady, who initially announced his retirement in February only to later reverse his decision, accepted the excused absence, but Bowles said it was a plan that was in place before preseason training camp began.

Brady denied rumors that he appeared on popular TV show The Masked Singer last week quote tweeted One of his underwear ads read: “Wasn’t on the masked singer last week. But wore a mask.”

Since joining the Bucs from the New England Patriots in 2020, Brady has helped dramatically improve the team’s fortunes.

The Bucs, a perennial underachiever before his arrival, won the Super Bowl in Brady’s first season at the helm and earned the legendary QB his seventh Super Bowl ring.

The team underperformed last season, but many are predicting another run for the Super Bowl title this year, even if their talisman is currently out of action.

The Bucs start their regular season on September 11 against the Dallas Cowboys.