Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady was back at practice Monday after an extended absence from training camp, which was reportedly tied to Brady’s quest for work-life balance.
Although he’s back now, NFL reporters and fans are still debating how — and where — Brady spent his time away.
Here are a few of their theories:
Was Tom Brady filming for “The Masked Singer”?
Perhaps the funniest theory is that Brady missed training camp to compete on “The Masked Singer” on Fox, a popular reality show.
An NFL fan explained the logic behind this theory on Reddit, noting that there’s obviously a relationship between Fox and Fox Sports, the network that Brady plans to work for after he retires for good.
Vulture dug a little deeper into the theory for a recent article and confirmed that the filming schedule for “The Masked Singer” did overlap with Brady’s time away from his team.
“The show started production in late July and wrapped filming the weekend of Aug. 20, coinciding with the Bucs’ stated end of Brady’s absence,” Vulture reported.
Is Tom Brady navigating a personal crisis?
In a column for CBS News Boston, Michael Hurley raised a less cheery possibility, highlighting various signs that point to something being wrong in Brady’s personal life.
Perhaps most notable is that the 45-year-old quarterback’s break from training camp coincided with a break from Instagram, a break that Brady’s followers would never have anticipated, Hurley wrote.
“Anyone who follows Brady on Instagram — and there are 12.5 million of us — has grown accustomed to being bombarded with Brady content at all hours of all days,” he said.
The social media silence makes it seem as if something deeper is going on than simply wanting some extra time with family, Hurley said.
“He wouldn’t give up his favorite online activity and his lucrative marketing activity if he weren’t dealing with something real,” he wrote.
Was Tom Brady in the Bahamas?
The best — and, perhaps, only — theory with good sourcing behind it is that Brady spent his time away from the Bucs on a trip to the Bahamas with his family.
“League sources indicated that Brady’s time away from the team included a trip to the Bahamas at an exclusive resort and primarily for family time with his wife, Gisele Bundchen,” wrote Pro Football Network reporter Aaron Wilson in an article released Sunday.
Per Wilson’s sources, Brady was focused on getting some extra time in with his loved ones before the busy NFL season is fully underway.
“His 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,” Wilson wrote.
This report is in line with what NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported earlier this month, when Brady’s absence was first announced.
“The best explanation I got (for his absence) is that he is trying to find, like so many of us, a work-life balance. (He’s) trying to do what is best for not just him, but his family, as well,” Rapoport said at the time.