Image Source: Getty / Theo Wargo
Tom Brady is defending his decision to take time off during football season. On Sept. 18, sources told NFL.com that the Buccaneers quarterback will reportedly take every Wednesday off practice. Brady, who previously announced his return to the field after retirement in March, will be replaced by backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert during his time off, the outlet noted.
"The fact that I've worked weekends for the last 23 years, I do deserve one day off a week."
On Sept. 19, during an episode of the "Let's Go! With Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald, and Jim Gray" podcast, Brady opened up about his decision to take personal days once a week during the season. "The fact that I've worked weekends for the last 23 years, I do deserve one day off a week," he said. ". . . I don't know if it's Wednesdays, but I get Tuesdays off," Brady clarified of his arrangement. "That's probably good enough for me."
News of Brady's personal days comes amid reports of difficulties between him and his wife, Gisele Bündchen. On Sept. 16, a source told People that the couple has been living separately for "more than a month."
"Gisele is busy with her own life now, and has spent time away from Tom in Miami and New York," the source said. They added, "They both want to live in Miami, they love it, and have loads of friends there. I don't think there is any formal separation at this point, they would like to work things out." Another source told the outlet that "during the season, they live separate lives."
Other sources said Brady's decision to return to the NFL has been an issue for the couple, as Bündchen reportedly wanted him to spend more time with their children. On Sept. 7, a source told People that the pair were "hitting a rough patch." They continued, "There's a lot of tension. She was so happy when he announced his retirement, and she wasn't thrilled at all when he went back on that."
However, another source told the outlet Brady's commitment to his family is not in question. "No other husband gets six months off a year to be totally devoted to just their family," the source said. "And during the season, yes he travels for games and trains, but he's with his family a lot, too."
Brady took an 11-day absence from the Buccaneers in August "to deal with some personal things," head coach Todd Bowles said in a September press conference. One source told Pro Football Network that Brady's "commitment to family and having a personal life was at the heart of this hiatus from football, and there was no medical emergency, as speculated, or other reasons."
When asked about the break, per TMZ, Brady told reporters, "Everyone has different situations they're dealing with, and we all have unique challenges to our lives. I'm 45 years old, man. There's a lot of sh*t going on, so you just have to try and figure out life the best you can. You know, it's a continuous process."
On Sept. 11, a source told People that Brady and Bündchen are "trying, or at least he's trying, to figure it out and make it work. [Brady] wants to get through this and for things to get better." That same day, Bündchen tweeted a message of support for her husband ahead of his first post-retirement game.
Let’s go @TomBrady ! Let’s go Bucs ! ✨✨✨— Gisele Bündchen (@giseleofficial) September 12, 2022