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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs guard Sweezy 'close' to practicing after missing offseason

J.R. Sweezy said he doesn't have "an exact date" but is confident it won't be long before he's practicing with the Bucs.

GREG AUMAN | Times

J.R. Sweezy said he doesn't have "an exact date" but is confident it won't be long before he's practicing with the Bucs.

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It has been more than four months since the Bucs signed free-agent guard J.R. Sweezy to a five-year, $32.5-million contract, but as Tampa Bay went through its second practice of training camp Friday, Sweezy has yet to practice with his teammates.

The Bucs have only acknowledged he underwent a "procedure" that kept him from practicing in OTAs and mandatory minicamp and now has him on the Physically Unable to Perform list. It's been reported that his back is what is sidelining him, and the Times' Rick Stroud has reported he has a calf injury. Sweezy declined to share any details of why he isn't practicing, but said he hopes to be on the field soon.

"Sometimes, things just go a little different than planned," Sweezy said. "I'm in that situation. Things are going well. I'm feeling good and getting ready to go."

Sweezy said he doesn't have "an exact date" but is confident it won't be long before he's practicing with the Bucs, who open the preseason in 13 days in Philadelphia and still have more than six weeks before their regular-season opener Sept. 11 at Atlanta.

"I will say that I am close. Just getting better every day," he said. "It's all good. I'm ready to get out there and get the reps. I want to start getting reps and play football again."

The Bucs have had third-year pro Kevin Pamphile working as the first-team left guard, as was the case throughout the offseason. He also filled in last year when Logan Mankins, who retired after the season, missed one game with injury.

[Last modified: Friday, July 29, 2016 1:26pm]

    

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