Tom Brady practised with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as usual on Wednesday, despite initial reports the star quarterback would take ‘veteran rest days’ every week.
Following the Bucs’ Week 1 victory, it was confirmed that the three-time MVP – who has hit the headlines in recent weeks for his marital issues off the field with wife Gisele Bundchen – was set to take every Wednesday off for personal and recovery reasons.
However, the 45-year-old’s new schedule did not last long as he reported for duty at the Tampa Bay facilities on Wednesday.
Coach Todd Bowles had confirmed that Brady will take each Wednesday off from training, stating that it was a weekly maintenance day in which the superstar quarterback would be excused from training.
And Bowles revealed that Brady will not be the only player to receive maintenance days, with receiver Chris Godwin not practising on Thursdays, and receiver Mike Evans and linebacker Lavonte David out on Fridays.
‘It’s not just [Brady],’ Bowles said. ‘We have designated days off after games.’
That said, Brady’s appearance on the field on Wednesday came as a surprise, and sparked yet more questions about his off-field dramas with wife Gisele.
The quarterback was missing for 11 days during preseason and it was later revealed that he had been excused from training camp due to personal matters.
The absence has been followed by ongoing speculation over the state of his marriage to supermodel Bundchen.
It was reported Brady and Bundchen are ‘living separately’ and are working through martial issues, sources close to the couple told CNN.
The Brazilian model is said to be unhappy with the seven-time Super Bowl winner’s decision to unretire earlier this year.
She spoke to Elle magazine for their October issue, expressing a desire to rejuvenate her career and the coinciding frustration with Brady continuing his.
‘I feel very fulfilled, as a mother and as a wife. And now it’s going to be my turn.’
‘I would like him to be more present,’ she said of her husband. ‘I have definitely had those conversations with him over and over again.
‘But ultimately, I feel that everybody has to make a decision that works for [them]. He needs to follow his joy, too.’
‘It’s all personal, you know,’ the MVP replied when asked about his absence, August 27. ‘Everyone’s got different situations that they’re dealing with.
‘We all have really unique challenges to our life. I’m 45 years old, man. There’s a lot of s**t going on, so just gotta figure out life the best you can. It’s a continuous process.’
Brady defended the decision to have a weekly day off earlier this week as he said it’s something he’s earned because of his 23-year career.
‘The fact that I’ve worked weekends for the last 23 years, I do deserve one day off a week so I think maybe, and I don’t know if it’s Wednesdays, but I get Tuesdays off,’ Brady said on his Let’s Go podcast. ‘That’s probably good enough for me.’
Tampa coach Bowles also stressed the importance of the maintenance day and veteran rest.
‘For most players, it’s important,’ Bowles said, per the NFL Network. ‘But I think when you play in the league a certain amount of time and you prepare a certain way, it’s not necessary to practice that guy all the time.
‘You’re going to practice, but you’re not going to practice all the time. You’ll get a day off here and there because it is a long season.’
The news of Brady’s day off came after he spoke about the toll Week 1 of the 2022-23 season had taken on his 45-year-old body.
‘When you’re 45, your body changes a lot. So what am I dealing with now? I woke up today going, ‘Holy s***, there was a few hits,’ Brady said on his podcast.
‘You look at your arm and you got bruises, you got cuts and you go, ‘OK, how much longer do I want to make this commitment?
‘And I obviously made the commitment for this year and everything’s going to be like always — continue to evaluate all these different aspects of playing.
‘I think for me, I’m just going to take it day by day and I will evaluate it as it comes.’
Brady has been known to take the occasional Thursday off during the regular season, but he hadn’t previously pledged to take a day off every week.