Tom Brady has returned to Coaching Boss after an excused absence

TAMPA – That collective exhale I heard on Saturday morning came from the AdventHealth Training Center after hundreds of Bucs fans saw Tom Brady’s first look in a cream training jersey.

In the absence of the last two exercises, Brady reappeared on Saturday with the other three quarterbacks for his first training camp since Tuesday. Brady had a pre-planned day off Wednesday (his 45th birthday), and after a day off for the entire team on Thursday, he was excused from Friday practice for personal reasons.

“Definitely glad to see him back there,” said veteran right guard Chuck Mason, Brady’s five-season teammate in New England.

Brady was not made available to reporters after training.

Naturally, the extended absence sparked a flurry of speculation about Brady, who retired after 22 seasons on February 1, to stay on after 40 days.

His absence coincided with news that two Dolphins executives had received heavy penalties from the NFL for holding long-running secret discussions with Brady about joining their franchise. Brady also conveyed his grief last week after midfielder Ryan Jensen went down with what is feared to be a knee injury at the end of the season.

But on Saturday it looked business as usual. He made contact with Tyler Johnson and Scotty Miller over consecutive distances of 2 yards in the red zone period, but was intercepted by David Lafonte on a layover over the middle earlier in practice.

Elsewhere, receiver Chris Goodwin – returning from off-season knee surgery – was fit for the second day in a row. Goodwin ran the roads at full speed during the singles and spot periods, but was never again involved in the 11-for-11 business.

“Same on Friday,” coach Todd Bowles said. “He moves well, he runs around, he catches passes. He feels good, so we take him day in and day out.”

Teammate Mike Evans, who departed on Friday after appearing to be suffering from a hamstring injury, continued training on Saturday but was not fit. After that, Bulls noted that Evans’ injury did not appear to be serious.

“It hurts, it hurts, day in and day out, so it’s going to be OK,” Bowles said. “It’s just a matter of when we put it there.”

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