Quarterback Tom Brady throws a pass during Tampa Bay’s training camp on July 30. Brady was excused from practice Friday for personal reasons. Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

TAMPA — Tom Brady was excused from practice Friday for personal reasons.

The Bucs quarterback had an excused absence on his 45th birthday Wednesday, and players had a day off Thursday.

Brady was expected to be back in pads with his teammates Friday as they head into a weekend of training camp workouts before hosting the Miami Dolphins in joint practices next week.

But Coach Todd Bowles said he couldn’t be sure when Brady will return.

“We’ll let him do what he needs to do,” Bowles said. “If he’s back (Saturday), that’s great, but we’ll keep in touch and we’ll monitor that.”

On Wednesday, the NFL sanctioned the Dolphins for tampering with Brady while he was with the Patriots in 2019 and 2020, and again this past December. The conversations centered on Brady becoming a minority owner of the team and possibly playing quarterback for Miami.


The Dolphins forfeited a first-round pick in 2023 and a third-round pick in 2024. Owner Stephen Ross was banned from all league committees until Oct. 17 and fined $1.5 million. In addition, Bruce Beal, the Dolphins’ vice chairman/limited partner and a friend of Brady’s, was fined $500,000 and may not attend any league meeting for the remainder of the year.

It’s rare for Brady to miss practice unless it’s a veteran maintenance day. With Brady out, the defense appeared to dominate the team periods, as backup Blaine Gabbert and second-year pro Kyle Trask took most of the reps at quarterback.

“It was a great day for the defense, but we still didn’t meet our standards because we’re supposed to get five turnovers a practice. I think we got two,” cornerback Jamel Dean said. … “But it was still overall a good practice for us communication-wise and working out our techniques.”

• Seven months after undergoing knee surgery, Tampa Bay receiver Chris Godwin is back in pads on the practice field.

Godwin, who signed a three-year, $60 million contract in March, worked out in full uniform – running and catching passes during individual drills, but not participating in team periods.

Godwin hadn’t joined the team on the practice field since December, when he was hurt during a home loss to the New Orleans Saints. Surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his right knee was performed the first week of January.


Godwin finished with a career-best 98 receptions for 1,103 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games last season.

CARDINALS: Running backs coach James Saxon was charged in Indianapolis with two counts of domestic battery stemming from an alleged incident in May.

One of the counts is a felony that includes domestic battery committed in the presence of a child less than 16 years old. An attorney listed as representing Saxon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the case Friday.

Cardinals Coach Kliff Kingsbury said Saxon has been placed on administrative leave. Kingsbury added that the team knew about Saxon’s arrest when it happened in May.

Saxon has been with the Cardinals since 2019 and was the running backs coach for the Miami Dolphins from 2000 to 2019. He played eight years in the NFL from 1988 to 1995.

COMMANDERS: Coach Ron Rivera said Tre Walker, an undrafted rookie linebacker from Idaho, told him retirement was “something (he’d) been thinking about. There were some things he wanted to get back to, so he decided it was time to move on.”

Though the departure of an undrafted rookie might seem minor, this one is notable, because Walker had a real chance to make the roster. Since the draft, Rivera has maintained the team was not pursuing a veteran linebacker because it wanted more snaps for three promising rookies – Walker, Drew White of Notre Dame and Bryce Notree of Southern Illinois University.

But now – following Walker’s retirement and White’s ACL tear – only Notree remains.

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