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Buccaneers monitoring Tom Brady's status after second straight excused absence

Head coach Todd Bowles commented on the matter following Friday's practice.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had a few crucial players in and out of the lineup during training camp. Center Ryan Jensen went down with a serious knee injury early in camp. Wide receiver Chris Godwin made his return from an ACL injury during Friday's practice. Unfortunately, in the same session, fellow star wide receiver Mike Evans departed prior to the conclusion of practice with a leg injury.

There's no doubt that the loss of Jensen hurts Tampa Bay's offensive line in a big way. However, there's one player on the roster that the team can't afford to have miss much time throughout the season; quarterback Tom Brady. The newly turned 45-year-old signal-caller missed practice on Wednesday. It was assumed the excused absence was due to his birthday.

Following a day off on Thursday, the Buccaneers returned to the practice field on Friday morning and the future hall of famer was noticeably absent again. After the session, head coach Todd Bowles addressed Brady's second straight excused absence.

“We’ll let him do what he needs to do," Bowles said on Friday. "If he’s back tomorrow, that’s great. But we’ll keep in touch and we’ll monitor that."

It's been an interesting week for Brady. Outside of missing two practices and celebrating a birthday, his name surfaced during the NFL's investigation of the Miami Dolphins for tampering. The league has cleared the Buccaneers star from any wrongdoing in the case. Regardless, it was proven that Miami had contact with Brady while he was a member of the New England Patriots and again once he was in Tampa.

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In relief of Brady, backup quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert, Kyle Trask, and Ryan Griffin took the snaps for Tampa Bay's offense throughout practice on Wednesday and Friday. Coach Bowles was pleased for the less experienced signal-callers to get more work in. That said, he won't be thrilled if Brady's absence draws much deeper into training camp.

The team is integrating three new crucial skill players into the offense; wide receiver Julio Jones, tight end Kyle Rudolph, and wide receiver Russell Gage. Less reps with Brady during the preseason means potential chemistry issues when the season officially begins. In the same vein, all three of those guys, along with Brady, have played a ton of football and should be able to acclimate swiftly.

READ MORE: Buccaneers Head Coach Todd Bowles Gives Update on Ryan Jensen

Stick with BucsGameday for more coverage on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throughout training camp.

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