Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Da'Quan Bowers will return to practice for Buccaneers

TAMPA — Da'Quan Bowers will take a major step this week toward overcoming his devastating offseason injury.

The Bucs defensive end, who ruptured his Achilles tendon during conditioning in May, will rejoin the team in practice Wednesday under guidelines governing the physically-unable-to-perform list.

Players on PUP cannot practice during the first six weeks of the season. After that, teams have 21 days to decide whether the player is ready to resume practicing. Bowers already has convinced the Bucs he's there, coach Greg Schiano said.

"He'll do some stuff the rest of this week and we'll just observe and kind of go from there and see how he responds," Schiano said.

This latest development does not guarantee Bowers will play this season. Schiano remains confident, but the Bucs must decide if and when to place him on the active roster. Once he practices, the clock begins on a 21-day window in which the Bucs must place Bowers on the active roster or injured reserve.

"You really just have to play it by ear," Schiano said. "It's how he responds to increased workload as he does a little more. He's done an incredible job in his rehab, but it's like four different phases.

"One is the post-surgical, where you're just kind of waiting. Then it's the training room. Then it's out on the grass where he's working with our trainers and strength coach, running and pushing things. And now here comes the fourth part, and that is actually playing."

Bowers overcame a pre-draft knee surgery in 2011, one that caused a fall from the first round to the late second, and ended last season as one of the team's bright spots. He had overtaken Michael Bennett as the starting left end and was expected to assume the role again before his latest injury.

THE CLOSER: The Bucs always planned to use RBs Doug Martin and LeGarrette Blount as a duo, but the specifics of that arrangement can vary from game to game.

Sunday, the Bucs enjoyed the ideal scenario, with Martin enjoying success early, allowing the physical, big-bodied Blount to finish things off. Blount ran five consecutive times on the Bucs' final drive for 53 yards, the final 12 for a touchdown.

"That is a nice model," Schiano said. "You're darn right. After playing for three hours in the 85-degree heat and now you have a 250-pound man coming at you. That would work nice regardless of how he was used earlier. That will kind of change week to week, but that played out well."

SLOTTING: The Bucs have used a number of options as slot receivers since releasing Preston Parker last month, and are enjoying success.

Sunday, Vincent Jackson's second touchdown catch came when he was lined up in the slot. Tiquan Underwood and Mike Williams also rotated into the position.

Underwood's addition has given the Bucs some flexibility in who they line up in the slot, allowing advantageous matchups or different routes in a different area of the field.

"You have Vincent and Mike on the outside, now you have a guy (Underwood) who can play the inside as well as the outside and you have the ability to bring those guys inside, too," receivers coach P.J. Fleck said. "And there's still speed. You don't lose anything on the outside."

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @HolderStephen.

Da'Quan Bowers will return to practice for Buccaneers 10/15/12 [Last modified: Monday, October 15, 2012 9:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Road to Atlanta, Week 4



    Central Florida defensive lineman Tony Guerad (93) gestures in front of teammate Jamiyus Pittman, right, and Maryland offensive lineman Damian Prince, left, after tackling Maryland running back Ty Johnson and forcing a punt on fourth down in the first half of an NCAA college football game in College Park, Md., Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) MDPS104
  2. NFL owners speak out in support of players, against Trump


    The NFL's players and owners are frequently at odds over the issues, finances and rules of the game, a long-running feud that looms large toward another potential work stoppage after the 2020 season.

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  3. New Rowdie Hunter Gorskie nets game's lone goal


    ST. PETERSBURG — Hunter Gorskie enjoyed a smashing Tampa Bay debut, scoring the lone goal and getting in one of many crucial second-half clearances as the Rowdies held off visiting Charlotte 1-0 before an announced 7,786 at Al Lang Stadium.

    The Tampa Bay Rowdies Hunter Gorskie (27) celebrates a first half goal against the Charlotte Independence at Al Lang Field Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 in St. Petersburg. Photo by Matt May/Tampa Bay Rowdies
  4. Mikhail Sergachev learning when to keep it simple


    Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev tried to carry the puck through the middle in front of his net Friday night against Nashville.

  5. For starters: Rays at Orioles, with a different look to things


    The Rays wrap up their four-game series with the Orioles today and their lineup has a different look, with C Wilson Ramos, OF Steven Souza Jr. and 3B Evan Longoria all getting the day off.

    The Rays are starting their All-Star, RHP Chris Archer, who needs wins in his final two outings to even his record, going …