Da'Quan Bowers' comeback complete: 2010 second-round pick is activated, will play tonight
MINNEAPOLIS -- Da'Quan Bowers' plans for a strong sophomore season seemed to be derailed when he suffered a ruptured Achilles' tendon in May.
Tonight, he'll complete a remarkable comeback, returning to the field less than six months later. Bowers has been activated from the physically unable to perform list after practicing with the team since last week, meaning he is eligible to play tonight against the Vikings.
The Bucs released cornerback LeQuan Lewis to make room on the active roster.
Don't expect much from Bowers: He'll initially play a limited number of snaps, according to coach Greg Schiano. But Bowers' return can't hurt, even in a limited capacity. The team's pass rush has fallen off since the loss of starting right end Adrian Clayborn. It's possible that Bowers, previously a left end, could see action on the right side to augment the backups replacing Clayborn.
Bowers had only 1.5 sacks in his rookie season, but that was in large part because of his limited playing time for much of the season. The team brought him along slowly after a pre-draft knee injury caused him to plummet from a projected top-10 pick to the late second round.
Bowers is still trying to recapture the form he showed in his final season at Clemson, when he led the nation with a school-record 15.5 sacks and was a consensus All-America selection. Bowers seemed primed to take the next step this season, until his injury set him back. But his speedy recovery which puts him back on the field with 10 games remaining gives him a chance to be an asset to the Bucs this season.