TAMPA, FL -“Everybody that is healthy, will play” Those were the words of Buccaneers Head Coach Todd Bowles in his press comments today.
Well, Tom Brady is healthy, thus starting what will be a media frenzy on whether he will play on Saturday at the Indianapolis Colts, the Bucs final preseason game of this year.
Brady, who returned this week from an 11-day absence to tend to “personal issues,” is healthy and practiced in full Thursday, as well as Monday and Tuesday, with a veteran day on Wednesday.
Reports are that Brady has looked sharp and extra focused since his return to the team.
“It’s important for game continuity,” Bowles said of seeing Brady with the starters. “We have some new guys on the O-line. We have some new guys at receiver. So other than having practiced together, we need to see ’em in a game with certain situations and just the flow of it. No matter how long it is, we just need to see it.”
A key new receiver is Julio Jones.
Jones is going though another re-start after sustaining a foot injury in his one year with the Tennessee Titans last year and seemingly fading out in age in his final year with the Atlanta Falcons.
They have had plenty of reps in practice before and after Brady’s absence, and not it’s time to see things at full speed.
“He missed 11 days, but he wasn’t playing in the first two [games],” Bowles said. “He’s fine with everything. We know his condition and it’s fine. He’s getting back with the guys. He’s throwing the ball and we’re good. I think it was built up before we left.
“It’s just having everybody intact, practicing at the same time. You know, his days would’ve fallen the same day Julio was off and obviously Mike [Evans] being injured — we didn’t have a full slate there either, but they got to see a lot of things from the side and got to talk a lot. And I think the chemistry’s good.”
Brady is had some playing time in a preseason game every year going back to his days with the New England Patriots.
Coaches are keeping an eye on Chris Godwin’s progress as he tries to get back into playing shape since tearing his ACL last season. He is not expected to play in the next game, but has participated in 11-on-11 drills in practice this week.