Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady continues to be away from the team. He continues to be due to return next week, after the second preseason game against the Titans.
Coach Todd Bowles was asked by reporters on Monday whether last week’s timeline still applies.
“Yes,” Bowles said.
The situation continues to raise plenty of questions, thanks in large part to the manner in which things unfolded. The team has said the mid-camp hiatus was pre-planned. Brady is gone for “personal reasons.” The situation has nothing to do with the health of Brady or his family members.
The development is unprecedented. At this point in his career, everything about Brady is unprecedented. He’s 45, and showing no signs of Father Time gaining ground. And if anyone can still perform at a high level despite taking a break in August, it’s him.
Curiosity is justified in a situation like this. One, it’s Tom Freakin’ Brady. Two. this stuff doesn’t normally happen. If the team is fine with it, then so be it. The notion that the rest of us should just shrug at such an unusual development is unrealistic.
It’s odd. It’s OK to think it, and to say it. And it will be OK to ask Brady questions about it, the next time he’s available to be questioned. Presumably, that will happen in the days preceding the Week One game at Tampa.
The situation definitely sets a high bar for Brady in the coming season. For the same reason people will wonder whether Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has studied hard enough if he doesn’t perform well during the 2022 season, it will be fair to ask whether Brady’s there’s a connection between any possible struggles by Brady and his first-of-its-kind respite from the annual preseason grind.