Tom Brady taking a leave of absence for personal reasons raised antennas, but apparently nothing is amiss.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Thursday that Brady would be stepping away from the team, returning after their Aug. 20 preseason game. It was not fully clear why Brady stepped away, and if it was due to an emergency.
Appearing Thursday afternoon on the “Pat McAfee Show”, NFL insider Ian Rapoport shared what he knew.
"Here is everything I understand about this: It was planned, no one is worried, he’s fine," Rapoport said. "It’s not to my knowledge a medical emergency related to him or, I believe, anyone close to him. I was told everything is OK. The best description I got about this is it’s important to find a work-life balance. …
“Brady has been doing this for 23 years, he knows the scheme as well as anyone, he wasn’t going to play in those two games anyway. So he steps aside to it sounds like do some actual, personal things. Family things."
Among the speculation about the cause of him stepping away included theories that such a break was written into his contract.
After all, Brady retired this offseason after spending the previous few years deemphasizing non-mandatory things like OTAs.
“I don’t know specifically, but my guess is just judging from people I’ve spoken with that you’re kind of in the right area,” Rapoport responded after McAfee floated the aforementioned theory. “Like, there is a family thing that I believe is happening that is good, that is not football.”
To Rapoport’s point, if there is anyone who can reasonably step away from training camp for an extended period with little consequence, it’s Brady.
And for what it's worth, Bucs head coach Todd Bowles said he has a "pretty high level of confidence" Brady will be in the lineup Week 1.