Buccaneers coach says ‘no definitive date’ for Tom Brady’s return to team

Tom Brady’s leave of absence from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be longer than initially expected.

When Bucs coach Todd Bowles announced last week the 45-year-old quarterback was taking a planned, 11-day absence from the team to address “personal things”, the understanding was Brady would return after the team’s preseason game against the Tennessee Titans on 20 August.

On Thursday, Bowles suggested Brady may be away from the team longer when pressed on the timeline for his return.

“We’ll see. We’ll talk about it next week,” Bowles said Thursday, according to the Athletic. “I’m not concerned about it right now. We’re trying to practice against Tennessee and play a game. I said sometime after Tennessee. There’s no definitive date for me. We’ll keep in touch and find out.”

Backup quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert, Kyle Trask and Ryan Griffin have shared snaps during Brady’s absence.

Brady led the league in passing yards and touchdowns last season. He announced his retirement from football in February before reversing the decision shortly afterwards. In May, it was announced that Brady had signed a 10-year, $375m contract with Fox Sports, which will start when he retires from the NFL for good.

The Bucs open their regular-season campaign against the Dallas Cowboys on 11 September.