Saturday, November 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs' Da'Quan Bowers activated, plays against Vikings

RECOMMENDED READING


MINNEAPOLIS — Da'Quan Bowers' plans for a strong second season seemed to be derailed when he sustained a torn Achilles tendon in May.

But Thursday at the Metrodome, the defensive end returned to the field less than six months after the injury. Before the game, Bowers was activated from the physically unable to perform list after practicing with the team since last week.

He wasted no time in contributing, creating pressure as a third-down pass rusher on the right side in the Bucs' 36-17 victory against the Vikings.

Once Bowers began practicing Oct. 15, the club had a 21-day window in which to determine whether he was ready to be activated. Coaches and trainers needed only 10 days.

"It's been a lot of work by our trainers and our staff to make sure Da'Quan got back to full strength, and Da'Quan put in a lot of work," GM Mark Dominik said on the pregame show on WDAE-AM 620. "It's something we were hopeful would happen with his ability to heal quickly."

The Bucs released CB LeQuan Lewis to make room on the active roster.

Coach Greg Schiano said Bowers would be worked in slowly, which he was. On the snaps he played, Bowers looked confident and strong.

He had a fortuitous moment. When Vikings QB Christian Ponder mishandled a shotgun snap in the third quarter and had to fall on the ball, Bowers was there to pile on. The team was credited with a tackle for a loss.

Bowers' presence can't hurt, even in a limited capacity. The team's pass rush had fallen off since the loss of starting right end Adrian Clayborn. Bowers, previously a left end, seemed comfortable playing at right end. That's where Clayborn was off to a solid start, part of a line that had been pressuring quarterbacks through three games. Since Clayborn's injury, the Bucs have had to be creative. Thursday they had three sacks.

"I definitely think my presence was noticeable," Bowers said. "I was fortunate enough to help the team tonight. Under the circumstances, just getting thrown in the first, it worked out really well. Coach Schiano asked me how I felt. I told him, and we came up with the decision to go. I felt good about the decision. He totally left it up to me, and I felt I was more prepared this week than last week."

BUMPED UP: Rookie CB Leonard Johnson (Largo High) made his first career start as the Bucs opened the game in a nickel defense with three cornerbacks. Veteran Myron Lewis has struggled and was inactive; veteran Brandon McDonald, the cornerback in the previous two games, remained on the bench.

Johnson recorded a key pass deflection on a third-down play in the first quarter, ending a Vikings drive and helping set up the Bucs with good field position.

In the second quarter, on another third down, Johnson took a catch away from WR Percy Harvin, making what would've been an interception had Johnson's feet been in bounds. That play forced the Vikings to settle for a field goal.

Johnson capped his night with a fourth-quarter interception at the Bucs 8.

RETURN ISSUES, AGAIN: WR Roscoe Parrish could be on thin ice after a shaky performance. First, he muffed a punt in the first quarter and recovered it. But Parrish continued to struggle to handle punts throughout the night. Parrish is on the roster because the last two punt returners — Preston Parker and Jordan Shipley — were released, in large part because of their fumbles.

Miscellany: The Vikings put S Mistral Raymond, a former USF player, on the inactive list for the fifth straight game because of a right ankle injury.

Comments
Bucs journal: DB Vernon Hargreaves will miss Sunday’s game with hamstring injury

Bucs journal: DB Vernon Hargreaves will miss Sunday’s game with hamstring injury

TAMPA — The Bucs will play Sunday against the Dolphins without Vernon Hargreaves, who has been their nickel defensive back the past two games.Hargreaves, the 2016 first-round pick out of Florida and a former Wharton High standout, has been ruled out ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Fennelly: If this is true, Jameis Winston is done in this town

Fennelly: If this is true, Jameis Winston is done in this town

TAMPA — Why should we believe this man?Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is being investigated by the NFL concerning an allegation of him groping a female Uber driver in Scottsdale, Ariz., in March 2016.Winston denied the allegations Friday in a statem...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Jameis Winston accused of groping Uber driver

Jameis Winston accused of groping Uber driver

TAMPA — The NFL is investigating an allegation that Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston groped a female Uber driver in Arizona in March 2016.Winston called the allegations "false" and contested the unnamed female driver’s assertion that he was her only p...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Uber called Jameis Winston about ‘you or someone in the vehicle with you’

Uber called Jameis Winston about ‘you or someone in the vehicle with you’

Tampa Bay Times has listened to a voicemail Jameis Winston received from Uber relating to the March 2016 incident in Arizona.The NFL is investigating the allegations that Winston grabbed a female Uber driver's crotch in 2016.In the call, someone...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Jameis Winston says groping allegations are ‘false’

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston denied allegations by an Arizona Uber driver that he groped her in 2016. The NFL confirmed it is investigating the incident.Winston released a statement on his Twitter account saying the driver was 'confused,' by the n...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Bucs’ linemen ready for challenge of containing Dolphins’ Suh

Bucs’ linemen ready for challenge of containing Dolphins’ Suh

Asked if Miami's Ndamukong Suh is the toughest defensive tackle he's gone against, Bucs center Ali Marpet stops short of an answer."I'll let you know after the game," said Marpet, preparing for Sunday's game against the Dolphins as the Bucs seek thei...
Published: 11/17/17
Bucs-Dolphins: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Bucs-Dolphins: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Here’s the Times’ Bucs coverage team’s predictions for Tampa Bay’s 1 p.m. game Sunday at Miami:LET’S GO STREAKINGRick Stroud, @NFLStroud: It’s been 11 months since the Bucs had a winning streak. That was when they posted five W’s in a row with a win ...
Published: 11/17/17
Rick and Tom podcast: Will the Bucs make it two wins in a row?

Rick and Tom podcast: Will the Bucs make it two wins in a row?

In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones actually agree on their prediction for the Bucs-Dolphins game that will see Ryan Fitzpatrick make his second straight start in place of the injured Jameis Winston. They’ll give you the keys to the ga...
Published: 11/17/17
NFL Week 11: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions

NFL Week 11: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions

Below are the Times staff picks for week 11 of the NFL season:GameTime/DayErnest Hooper, @hoop4youTom Jones, @tomwjonesMartin Fennelly, @mjfennellyThomas Bassinger, @tometricsGreg Auman, @gregaumanRick Stroud, @NFLStroudAgainst the spread (last week)...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lavonte David is the Bucs’ quiet force

Lavonte David is the Bucs’ quiet force

TAMPA — Lavonte David is a private, almost shy man whose goal each week until game day is apparently to remain invisible by NFL standards.Off the field, the Bucs linebacker doesn’t often raise his voice. But when he was called to do so by coach Dirk ...
Published: 11/16/17