How will rash of injuries affect Bucs' critical offseason?
The Bucs finished the season with a plethora of players on injured reserve, which raises questions about what, if any, impact this could have on their critical offseason development.
General manager Mark Dominik, speaking here at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. today, said he is confident that most of the injured players will be able to participate to some extent in offseson workouts. Just one player, receiver Arrelious Benn, is likely to miss out completely, largely because of the timing of his injury. Benn suffered a torn ACL in the second-to-last game of the season and is still in the early stages of his comeback.
"Everybody's actually doing really good," Dominik said. "Even Arrelious Benn has had his suergery. You guys have been around Arrelious. You know what he's made of. I've been really encouraged by everything (head trainer) Todd Toriscelli's told me about the progression guys are making right now is very positive. That's encouraging that all those guys will be back and participate as much as they can."
One of the more serious injuries was suffered by defensive tackle Brian Price, who is recovering from a pelvic fracture. The injury lingered for quite a while as the team attempted to find the source of his discomfort last summer, discovering the fracture only after the regular season had begun. But there don't appear to be long-term concerns about the problem.
"We think it's taken care of," Dominik said.
If a collective bargaining agreement can be worked out and a lockout avoided, OTAs typically would start in April. Using that timetable, Dominik thinks most injured players will be on board.
"At the end, hypothetically, of March, I would think so," he said. "As far as I can tell, everybody should be right on track."