Bucs rookie tight end Cade Otton, absent from practice this week for what the team described as “personal reasons,” is dealing with the loss of his mother following a lengthy illness.
Sally Otton, a 50-year-old mom of three and a high school physical-education teacher in Olympia, Washington, reportedly had been battling Parkinson’s disease.
“To the brightest person in the whole world, thank you for your endless love, encouragement and laughs,” Otton wrote on his Instagram page. “You always found the good in every situation, so I’ll try to do the same for you.”
Coach Todd Bowles, who has not revealed the reason for Otton’s absence, was asked Friday if he expects the fourth-round draft pick back for Sunday’s game against the Packers.
“It’s possible he’ll be back,” Bowles said. “But if not, we understand and he’ll be back the next day.”
• • •
Sign up for the Bucs RedZone newsletter to get updates and analysis on the latest team and NFL news from Bucs beat writer Joey Knight.