Tom Brady is taking time away from Tampa Bay Buccaneers to deal with “personal things”.
The 45-year-old quarterback – who has 14-year-old son John with ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan and Benjamin, 12, and Vivian, nine, with wife Gisele Bundchen – had told his teammates before their training camp began in July that he would need to take a break, and he won’t be back until after their second preseason game.
Speaking during a press conference on Thursday, the NFL side’s head coach Todd Bowles said: “Tom has been excused today. He’ll be taking … he’ll be back somewhere around after Tennessee. He’s going to deal with some personal things.
“This is something we talked about before training camp started. 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] as far as going into these next two games. And it’s something he needs to handle.
“We trust him. We talked about it. It was scheduled way before training camp and he will not be here until after Tennessee.”
The coach refused to say any more about the sportsman’s absence, stressing it was a “personal issue” but insisted he has a “pretty high” level of confidence that Tom will be back and ready for the season opener on 11 September.
Tom announced in February he was retiring from the NFL, but just two months later, he admitted he had had second thoughts and committed to another season with the Buccaneers.
He tweeted at the time: “These past two months I’ve realised my place is still on the field and not in the stands.
“That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa.”