Gone 3 years, ex-Buc Arrelious Benn hopes to return with Jaguars
Three years in a row, former Bucs receiver Arrelious Benn has been at this same point -- healthy, in position to make an NFL roster -- and three years in a row, he's been sidelined by a major injury.
Traded by the Bucs after the 2012 season, he has not played in an NFL game since, so it's understandable that much of his focus as he tries to make the Jaguars' roster is simply on staying healthy.
"I've changed up a lot of things, taking care of my body, coming back from all the injuries I've had," said Benn, who said he is on an anti-inflammatory diet and is drinking two gallons a day of special ionized water.
The Bucs traded Benn to the Eagles after the 2012 season, sending him and a seventh-round pick for a sixth-round pick that eventually turned into running back Mike James, who is now in his fourth year with the Bucs. Benn missed 2013 with a torn ACL in his left knee, was cut before the 2014 due to lower-back issues and missed 2015 with a broken collarbone.
Benn was a second-round pick in 2010, ahead of Mike Williams, who would have much more initial success but also wound up traded elsewhere. Benn had 59 catches for 862 yards and five touchdowns in three seasons with the Bucs.
He enjoyed the Jaguars' joint practices with the Bucs this week -- the two teams will play a preseason game Saturday night -- and saw a few familiar faces, recognizing there aren't many Bucs that go as far back as 2012.
"I was happy to see Gerald (McCoy) because we came in together," Benn said. "I saw Vincent (Jackson), saw Lavonte David and the staff and media people I worked with. I saw (former GM) Mark Dominik a couple days ago, so it's been like a Tampa Bay reunion."
Benn isn't assured of a roster spot with the Jaguars, but is competing for a backup job behind stars Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. He's played well in the preseason before, so his priority is doing everything he can to avoid the injury setbacks he's faced for three straight years.
"My focus is just staying healthy so I can play a full season," he said.