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After fireworks injury, Bucs' C.J. Wilson steps away from football

Saints Robert Meachem (17) pulls in a Drew Brees pass in front of Bucs C.J. Wilson (41) during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the Saints at Raymond James Stadium. The team placed Wilson on the reserve-retired list. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
Saints Robert Meachem (17) pulls in a Drew Brees pass in front of Bucs C.J. Wilson (41) during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the Saints at Raymond James Stadium. The team placed Wilson on the reserve-retired list. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]
Published Jul. 25, 2015

TAMPA — Bucs cornerback C.J. Wilson, who lost two fingers on his right hand in a fireworks accident July 4, was placed on the reserve-retired list Friday as he steps away from football until his hand is healthy again.

Wilson, who has met with Bucs team doctors and trainers, will not count toward the 90-player roster limit when training camp opens next week. Tampa Bay will continue to hold the NFL rights of Wilson, 25. He can take himself off the list at any point if he feels like he has made enough progress in his rehabilitation to try playing again.

Wilson lost the index and middle fingers of his right hand in a fireworks accident while celebrating the holiday with friends and family in North Carolina.

Wilson's agent, Joel Turner, said Bucs coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht were "first class" in handling the accident and injury. He declined to comment on whether the team has provided Wilson with any financial settlement. NFL teams are typically not obligated to do so with nonfootball injuries.

"(Wilson) definitely wants to and plans to play again when healthy," Turner said.

Wilson spent most of the 2014 season on the Bucs' practice squad, totaling four tackles in two games on the active roster. He had one tackle in two games with the Bears in 2013.

Contact Greg Auman at gauman@tampabay.com and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

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