Rice, Sears held out of minicamp
Defensive end Simeon Rice stretched and shared a few laughs with teammates Tuesday morning, but that was the extent of his appearance on the practice field at the Bucs' mandatory minicamp.
Rice, who missed the final eight games last season, still is recovering from shoulder surgery and has not been cleared to practice this off-season. The Bucs expect him, however, to be ready for the start of training camp next month.
"He's going through his rehab and he's not fully able to participate at this point,'' coach Jon Gruden said of Rice. "Other than that, he's a guy who will be ready for training camp and a guy we missed last season, obviously.''
Rice wasn't the only player sitting out. Rookie guard Arron Sears, a second-round pick from Tennessee, did not practice due to undisclosed 'issues.'
"He was at practice, he wasn't participating,'' Gruden said. "He just has some minor issues we're taking care of. He'll be ready for camp.''
Although it was hardly a surprise, one player who did not attend the mandatory minicamp was Broncos free agent quarterback Jake Plummer, who has announced his retirement. However, Plummer could be subject to fines.
"We're talking about Jake Plummer here,'' Gruden said. "So we'll reserve a roster spot for the Snake a little while longer. If it were Jake Jones or Jake Johnson or Jake Gruden, we'd probably bypass the holding pattern that we're in right now. This is a hell of a football player that has accomplished a great deal. At this point, he's retired and hopefully at some point, he changes his mind or reconsiders.''
Quarterback Jeff Garcia said he wouldn't mind if Plummer decided to report to camp.
"That's fine. If he wants to come, he can come and sit on the bench, too,'' Garcia said. ""So whatever he wantr to do. That's his decision.''