Quarterback Tom Brady took a leave of absence from the Buccaneers for a “personal” matter. See details on why he stepped away for 11 days during the pre-season and where he was. 

Why Did Tom Brady Take a ‘Personal’ Leave?

Todd Bowles, head coach of the Buccaneers announced during a press conference that Tom, 45, had been “excused” on Thursday, August 11, explaining, “He’s going to deal with some personal things.”

Without giving too many details, the seven-time Super Bowl winner is briefly stepping away because of “something he needs to handle.” However, the coach, 58, noted that Tom’s departure was pre-planned before the season began. 

“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,” the coach noted.

Was Tom Brady Taping ‘The Masked Singer’?

Rumors were running rampant during the athlete’s absence that he took a leave to compete on Fox’s The Masked Singer competition’s taping. The buzz became so huge that upon his return to the team, Tom simply tweeted, “Wasn’t on The Masked Singer last week. Was wearing a mask though.”

He added a video from his Brady brand underwear of a man wearing only white boxer briefs and a helmet doing risky motorcycle tricks. “Ride #BetterInBrady. Our sold-out underwear is back this Wednesday 08.24 in all sizes and colors,” he wrote in the caption, hinting he’d been away working on his off-the-field business. 

When Did Tom Brady Come Back?

The quarterback returned after an 11-day absence on August 22. He missed the preseason opening game versus the Miami Dolphins on Saturday, August 13, and the following preseason game against the Tennessee Titans on Saturday, August 20. It is still unclear if he will play during the team’s last preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, August 27. 

Tom is expected to start for the team’s regular-season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on September 11. 

When Is Tom Brady Retiring?

Although the California native announced his retirement in February, he took back his decision nearly two months later. 

“These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” Tom tweeted in March. “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.”

The former New England Patriots player opened up more about his decision to return, explaining that he was only “partly” ready to retire when he made his initial announcement.

“I think when you’re their [quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen‘s] age, if you were to ask me, ‘Are you going to play football next year?’ I would say, ‘There’s a 100 percent chance I’m playing,’” he said during a roundtable on TNT in June, per ESPN. “And I think as I’ve gotten older, that’s changed because I have other responsibilities.”

Besides his busy football career, Tom shares two children, son Benjamin and daughter Vivian, with wife Gisele Bündchen. He also has a teenage son named John from his previous relationship with ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan