Bowers injury could hurt his chances of staying with Bucs
Da'Quan Bowers' disappointing career with the Bucs could be nearing an end.
Bowers, the oft-injured defensive lineman, is nursing a groin strain that's now hurting his chances of making the team, coach Lovie Smith said.
Bowers, who had three tackles (including one for a loss) and a quarterback hit in the preseason opener at Jacksonville, did not play last Saturday against the Dolphins and hasn't practiced in more than a week. It's uncertain whether he will play Saturday at Buffalo.
Smith said Wednesday he believes Bowers has the ability to play in the NFL, but he stopped short of guaranteeing it would be with the Bucs.
"I think every day you don't practice you're huring your chances (of making the team),'' Smith said. "We've seen enough to like Da'Quan a lot. But all the reps that he's not getting, someone else is getting them. The best way to beat your competition sometimes is just to stay on the field. You can't get Wally Pipped. Da'Quan is trying to get back. Again, I think he has a future in the league, whether it be as a defensive end outside or more of a third down rush guy inside.''
A second-round pick from Clemson in 2011, Bowers missed the first six games of 2012 recovering from an Achilles injury he suffered in the off-season. Last year, he missed three games wiith a knee injury. He finished with seven tackles and one sack.
Smith and GM Jason Licht did not draft Bowers and have no loyalty to him. His history of injuries and lack of production could cost him a roster spot.