The Bucs' options on Da'Quan Bowers
The Bucs don't have to make any immediate decisions on what to do with Da'Quan Bowers, who suffered a torn Achilles tendon on Thursday.
But there will come a time when they'll have to plot a course of action on how to proceed. That time likely will come just prior to the start of training camp. At that time, the Bucs will likely decide between one of two options.
If they feel Bowers isn't likely to play or be effective in 2012, they could simply place Bowers on injured reserve at the start of camp. That decision would end his season and give Bowers ample time to properly rehab a very difficult injury.
But, if the Bucs feel -- as Bowers does -- that he could potentially return, the best decision would be placing him on the physically unable to perform list (PUP). Doing so at the start of training camp gives the Bucs the option to put him on the regular season Reserve/PUP list, from which he can be activated after the sixth week of the season. Under this scenario, he doesn't count toward the 53-man regular-season active roster and the Bucs would be provided with a roster exemption that would allow Bowers to practice before being activated.
The good news on this front is that the Bucs still have nearly three months remaining before training camp begins. That allows them some time to determine whether a comeback is realistic for Bowers based on his recovery during the next 11 weeks.
Again, Bowers returning to action in 2012 seems unlikely, but it's been established that it's not out of the question.