Tom Brady has unexpectedly stepped away from his NFL team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to "personal things" he "needs to handle".
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The quarterback was noticeably missing from the team's practice on Thursday, but according to his coach, Todd Bowles, Tom's absence was prearranged, and he will be back with the team for their second preseason game on 2 August. "Tom has been excused today," Todd told NBC Sports.
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"He'll be taking—he'll be back somewhere around after Tennessee. He's going to deal with some personal things."
He added. "This is something we talked about before training camp started. 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… it's something he needs to handle."
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While Tom has not explained the reason for his absence, he did take to his Instagram Stories on Thursday to pay tribute to his former New England Patriots teammate James White, who announced his retirement from the NFL after an eight-year career.
Tom paid tribute to his former teammate James White
Posting a photo of the pair together in their uniforms, Tom wrote: "Teammate, champion, football player through and through. Congrats on the perfect career @sweetfeet."
Tom announced his own retirement from the NFL back in February with an emotional statement, in which he said he was going to "leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes".
However, just over one month later, Tom revealed he'd had a change of heart and announced his return to football.
Tom will return to the Buccaneers later in August
"I have realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands. That time will come. But it's not now," he wrote on Instagram.
"I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. Without them, none of this is possible," he added, referring to his wife Gisele Bündchen and his children Benjamin, 12, Vivian, nine, and John, 14, who he shares with ex Bridget Moynahan.
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