Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Brian Price could need another month to completely recover from surgery to reattach both hamstrings to his pelvis, coach Raheem Morris said Tuesday.
Price, a second-round pick from UCLA in 2010, played in only five games last season before being placed on Injured Reserve. Remarkably, he was well enough to begin training camp but has been mostly limited to individual drills.
Morris indicated Price could miss his second straight preseason game Thursday against the New England Patriots. In fact, Morris said Price may need another month to recover.
"Brian Price will go through (individual drills) and then we'll see where we're at with practice. He's one of those guys we've got to keep monitoring and just keep watching to get him ready,'' Morris said. "He's about a month away from where he wants to be, according to the schedule of the first one. He got those hamstrings ripped off the back of your bone, one at a time. One took about nine months to heal and this one is about seven. So hopefully we can get him going in the right direction.
"You want to make him be ready. You want to force him to be ready. Unfortunately, that's not the case for the hamstrings or the healing process.''
Morris said defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who missed the preseason opener at Kansas City with a rotator cuff strain, will play Thursday against the Patriots. Unfortunately, Price's progress has been much slower. Because of the injury, Price reported to camp several pounds overweight. The Bucs know he has to practice to get into football shape, but they have to be careful not to push his recovery too fast.
"When I'm saying a month away, it's to where the other hamstring starts to look well,'' Morris said. "He told us he felt really good with the other hamstring. So hopefully, another month the one that just got done starts to feel better. We'll just have to see. It's kind of a unique surgery.''
Is he at risk playing right now?
"I don't know, it's hard to say that when you look at those x-rays,'' Morris said. "I don't know. I don't have the M.D. title yet.''