The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking toward Friday night's preseason opener at Kansas City, and we're getting a better feel for who will and won't play.
Coach Raheem Morris said this afternoon that rookie defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, who is coming off a January knee surgery, will be on a veteran-like plan Friday night, playing between 12 and 15 snaps. Bowers has been held back by coaches and trainers, sitting out a couple of practices and participating in a limited amount of contact.
"He's coming along really well," Morris said. "He's really come on when we put the pads on. We knew that was going to be his game anyway. He's a giant 280-pound end. Those guys are huge. You can see the power rush is kind of his game. . . And we're starting to see it more and more now that the pads are on.
"Maybe we've been a little too cautious, but that's because of the lack of experience and time we've had with him. I think it's smart on the part of our training staff and coaching staff not to try and put too much on his plate right away."
Meanwhile, receiver Arrelious Benn, who also is coming off knee surgery, said he's likely to dress for the game but does not expect to play. With the wet fields of the past couple of days, Benn hasn't joined the padded portions of practice as the team had originally planned. Look for him to, perhaps, get back into contact next week.
The status of defensive tackles Gerald McCoy (strained rotator cuff) and Brian Price (pelvis) is less certain. Morris wasn't definitive on whether either would play.
"If they're out there with their groups and units, they'll play whatever everybody else plays," he said.
Price, however, could play less as he attempts to work himself back into shape after his offseason weight gain.