It was 1245PM Monday afternoon when Tom Brady came out of the training center at One Bucs place and strolled onto the practice field.
At that moment, every Buccaneers fan across the country breathed a sigh of relief. And once again, all was right with the world.
Yes, the GOAT was back, and his presence alone allowed for a much sharper and crisp practice.
The offensive line didn’t look like a sieve as it did on Saturday night. The passes were sharp and crisp. Receivers made the tough catches.
Brady did not practice like a quarterback that had taken ten days. Instead, he looked sharp and in command of the offense. Like we would expect anything less from Tom Brady.
Tight end Cam Brate said it was what everyone expected from Brady. “Pretty much as expected. Wherever Tom was, he was still working out and getting good reps in. Yeah, if anyone can get away with the 11-day break during training camp, it’s Tom. He came back firing on all cylinders. We’re all excited he’s back and ready to move on.”
Brady has played in any preseason games, and coach Todd Bowles said he had not decided whether Tom Brady would play in the preseason finale against Indianapolis.
Wide Receiver Mike Evans was back at practice for the first time since August fifth since injuring his hamstring. He was a full participant at practice.
Also, wide receiver Chris Godwin practiced for the first time in 11 on 11 drills since his off-season surgery. Godwin is working hard to prepare for the season opener in Dallas on September eleventh.
When Bowles was asked if Godwin would be ready for the season opener, he responded as only a head coach would, “I’m not a doctor. I can’t make that decision.”
The offensive line continues to play musical chairs as Aaron Stinnie was placed on the IR and will miss the 2022 season. Stinnie was battling the rookie Luke Goedeke for the starting left guard spot.
Now Goedeke will battle Nick Leverett for the starting spot, although the Bucs could still decide to bring someone in from the outside.
Todd Bowles talked about that possibility when addressing the media. “We like our in-home options, but there has got to be a player available for us to like to add a player. We’re not just going to sign one to sign one.”
“Luke and Nick do a great job. They’re getting a lot of reps, so they’ve earned that right to compete for that spot. We don’t mind playing rookies. We’ve been playing rookies since we’ve been here. It’s just a matter of them getting in-game experience. We’re comfortable with the guys we have right now, but if we can find an option that’s out there that fits us, we will look at it.”
The Bucs have already lost their Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen to an injury that will cause him to miss most of the season. Robert Hainsey is penciled in to be the starting center this season.
All-pro tackle Tristan Wirfs was at practice Monday but did not participate. Wirfs remains sidelined with his oblique injury and hopes to be back for the season opener in Dallas.
Other injured players not practicing today were running back Giovani Bernard, cornerback Zyon McCollum, linebacker Grant Stuard, and receivers Russell Gage and Cyril Grayson.
The Bucs have not yet determined how many starters will play against Indianapolis in the final preseason game. Many of the starters have yet to play in a preseason game. Todd Bowles addressed that at today’s media session. “I’ve seen people play and be used to it. I’ve seen people not play and be rusty and be used to it. We’ll discuss it at the end of the week and see how much work we get done in practice this week.”