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Vipers’ Quinton Flowers expected to return to team this week

The former USF quarterback misses all of last week due to “personal reasons."

PLANT CITY — After missing the Vipers’ first win of the season, quarterback Quinton Flowers is expected to rejoin the team after leaving the club for undisclosed personal reasons last week.

ESPN first reported the news Monday afternoon that Flowers would return to the Vipers.

Flowers could return to the team Tuesday when the Vipers begin their preparation for Sunday’s game at the Los Angeles Wildcats.

Flowers has been open about his frustration regarding his role in the offense. He missed Wednesday’s practice — the first of the week following an off day Monday and team meetings Tuesday — and hasn’t been seen around the team since the Feb. 22 home opener at Raymond James Stadium, a loss to the Houston Roughnecks.

Coach Marc Trestman said Wednesday that Flowers was taking a leave of absence from the team for “personal reasons” and was day-to-day on the timeline for his return. In Sunday’s victory over the D.C. Defenders, Flowers received a roster exemption designation, meaning the team could fill his spot with another player for the game.

Efforts by the Tampa Bay Times to reach Flowers and his agent last week were unsuccessful.

Despite Flowers’ potential return, his status with the Vipers remains unclear. They’ve now won without him, with starter Taylor Cornelius playing the entire game in Sunday’s 25-0 win over D.C.

The next 48 hours should offer clarity to Flowers’ future with the Vipers. Potentially, the Vipers could trade him. The Dallas Renegades, for example, have a quarterback need after starter Landry Jones suffered a potential season-ending injury in Sunday’s game against Houston.

Flowers has averaged about 5 yards per carry and has added strength to the run game. He became irritated by the lack of opportunities he felt he was getting on the field.

Contact Mari Faiello at mfaiello@tampabay.com. Follow @faiello_mari.

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