TAMPA ― Tom Brady was excused from practice Friday for personal reasons.
Wednesday, the Bucs quarterback had an excused absence on his 45th birthday. Players had an off day on Thursday.
But Brady was expected to be back in pads with his teammates Friday as they head into a weekend of training camp workouts before hosting the Miami Dolphins in joint practices next week. Coach Todd Bowles said he couldn’t be sure when Brady will return.
“We’ll let him do what he needs to do,” Bowles said. “If he’s back (Saturday), that’s great, but we’ll keep in touch and we’ll monitor that.”
Brady’s absence came three days after the NFL sanctioned the Dolphins for tampering with Brady while he was with the Patriots in 2019 and 2020, and again this past December with the Bucs. The conversations centered on Brady becoming a minority owner of the team and possibly playing quarterback for Miami in 2022.
The Dolphins forfeited a first-round pick in 2023 and a third-round pick in 2024. Owner Stephen Ross was banned from all league committees until Oct. 17 and fined $1.5 million.
In addition, Bruce Beal, the Dolphins’ vice chairman/limited partner and a friend of Brady’s, was fined $500,000 and may not attend any league meeting for the remainder of the year.
When Brady met with the media for the first time in training camp on July 26, he kept his answers fairly short. He said he and his teammates were “heartbroken” over the loss of center Ryan Jensen, who sustained a significant knee injury on the second day of workouts.
Brady declined to answer questions about his motivation for ending his retirement after 40 days and returning to the Bucs. Specifically, he was asked if his motivation was “unfinished business” after losing to the Rams in a division-round playoff game in February.
“We’re just going to do the best we can do,” Brady said. “There’s a lot of work between now (and the Super Bowl) — it’s August 1. There’s a lot of time. Nobody knows what the team is going to look like. You think you have a center, and then he gets injured, so the team is different in one day. There’s a long time between now and the first game.”
It’s rare for Brady to miss practice unless it’s a veteran maintenance day. With Brady out, the defense appeared to dominate the team periods as backup Blaine Gabbert and second-year pro Kyle Trask took most of the reps at quarterback.
“It was a great day for the defense, but we still didn’t meet our standards because we’re supposed to get five turnovers a practice. I think we got two,” cornerback Jamel Dean said. “... But it was still overall a good practice for us communication-wise and working out our techniques.”
Staff writer Joey Knight contributed to this report.
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